Luxury Adventure Tour in Rwanda with Gorilla Trek in 14 Days

Minimum Pax

1 Pax


14 Days

tour Details

Day 1 - Arrival to Rwanda - Meet and Greet

Arrival at Kigali International Airport
Welcome to Rwanda! On arrival into Kigali International Airport, make your way through passport control and collect your luggage. All of your luggage will be scanned through an x-ray machine before you head to the arrivals hall. Please note that the following items are strictly prohibited: plastic bags, drones and any form of radio / walkie talkie equipment. We recommend that your draw some local currency at the airport before you head to your hotel. Many local businesses around Rwanda prefer to process Rwandan Franks rather than US Dollars, so it is important that you draw some local currency from an ATM before leaving the airport. There is also a small charge as you depart the airport that will need to be settled in the local currency. There are a number of ATM's near your hotel and along your journey and we are very happy to make recommendations of the best places to draw money during the rest of your trip. Once you have reached the arrivals hall, you will be met by a representative who will help you with your luggage and take you to your rental vehicle in the car park. They will meet you in the arrivals hall holding a board with your name displayed.
Check-in 20:30 - The Retreat by Heaven (Superior king suite)
The Retreat is a 20-room luxury boutique hotel created by the American owners of Heaven, designed by Italian architects, and brought to life by an extraordinary team of Rwandan builders and craftspeople. The Retreat is Kigali’s first eco-friendly resort featuring solar electricity and locally crafted furniture from a Tanzanian sustainable teak farm. Located on a peaceful, tree-lined street in the Kiyovu neighbourhood, the Retreat is minutes away from the city centre and ideally situated for any trip to Kigali. Superior King Suites are the most luxurious and spacious king rooms, with front and rear private patios, double sinks with teak vanities, indoor rain showers and outdoor showers with comfortable seating on the back terrace. Deluxe King Rooms have private patios, single sinks with teak vanities and indoor rain showers. They are wheelchair accessible. Eight Luxury Pool Villas feature a private saltwater heated plunge pool bedrooms with full living areas and a 120 square meters of private indoor and outdoor space. All rooms include 24-hour reception and security, coffee and tea and fibre internet. The Fusion Restaurant, on-site at The Retreat, is inspired by the culinary traditions of Italy, Mauritius and Morocco which it blends them into a single harmonious offer. Perched beside The Retreat’s glorious saltwater pool and native plantings, Fusion is the most elegant spot in Kigali to explore new flavours and experience first-class hospitality.

Day 2 - Safari in Akagera National Park

Akagera National Park is one of Africa's most remarkable success stories. Now home to lions, rhinoceros the Big-Five and so much more there are over 13,000 large animals including a rapidly growing number of apex predators, it is one of the best places for game viewing in Africa. However, what makes Akagera special is its conservation. Just over 20 years ago it was on the verge of being lost forever, however, visionary leadership from African Parks has built a story of prosperity and hope where wildlife is flourishing. With a selection of activities and trails to choose from, today, Akagera is a wonderful place to visit because: It has an inspiring conservation story as it is now home to lions and rhinos, and is the only Big Five park in Rwanda. Just two hours’ drive from Kigali, it has a beautiful and convenient savannah landscape where herds of herbivores like zebra, giraffe and topi roam with many vantage points on nearby hills. Whilst one of Africa's smaller game parks, its diversity of habitats is unique. There are lakes, marshes, savannah, mountains and woodland all of which make for some truly spectacular scenery. A birder's delight, Akagera offers an exceptional birding experience with more than 482 bird species documented including the rare and prehistoric shoebill and some Lake Victoria endemics. Proceeds from tourism are invested back into the park and the local community.

Day 3 - Safari in Akagera National Park

06:30 - Akagera: Full-day game drive
Set off early to find the best wildlife and explore the low-lying plains, savannah, woodlands, wetlands and some of the dozen lakes that comprise this special place. With common sightings of zebra, giraffe, buffalo, topi, and lots of impala, you'll also be keeping a lookout for elephants, rhinoceros, defassa waterbuck, roan antelope, eland, duiker, oribi, bohor reedbuck, klipspringer and bushbuck. On the plains, you'll probably find spotted hyaenas and may see lions. Leopards are usually seen in the scrub and woodlands, whilst serval - a wild cat, side-striped jackal and several species of mongoose may also be spotted - if you're lucky. The best loop drive is to take the Rwisirabo, Kitabili & Kajumbura circuit during which you can also visit the Kageyo Peninsular and Nyampiki Peninsular, which often have good wildlife viewing. It is also possible to drive as far as the Mohana Plain, where groups of herbivores can be seen in the open, however, take care to leave enough time for your return journey. Often the best wildlife is seen when waiting patiently. Follow all park rules and regulations and do not leave your vehicle unless inside a designated campsite or picnic area. Make sure to take a packed lunch and stop at one of the designated picnic sites around the park. Toilets are available in a few locations. Drinking water is not available outside of the lodges, so make sure you bring sufficient for your drive.

Day 4 - Safari in Akagera National Park & return to Kigali

08:30 - Akagera: Morning game drive
Set off early to find the best wildlife and explore the low-lying plains, savannah, woodlands, wetlands and some of the dozen lakes that comprise this special place. With common sightings of zebra, giraffe, buffalo, topi, and lots of impala, you'll also be keeping a lookout for elephants, rhinoceros, defassa waterbuck, roan antelope, eland, duiker, oribi, bohor reedbuck, klipspringer and bushbuck. On a shorter drive in the southern part of Akagera, we recommend taking the Giraffe Area Loop or Rurama Loop. Passing Lake Birengero, you can visit either the Kageyo Peninsular or, if you make an early start, the Nyampiki Peninsular on an out and back trip. It is also possible to complete the full Rwisirabo, Kitabili & Kajumbura circuit in under 3 hours but it is quite a long drive and so for the best wildlife viewing we recommend it is done as a full-day trip. Drinking water is not available outside of the lodges, so make sure you bring sufficient for your drive. Follow all park rules and regulations and do not leave your vehicle unless inside a designated campsite or picnic area.

Day 5 - Discover Kigali and reflect on the past

08:00 - Nyamirambo Walking Tour
Nyamirambo Women's Center offers tourists a uniquely personal insight into the culture, history, and daily life of their community. All of the tour guides either grew up in Nyamirambo or live there, so the tours truly are a welcome into their home. Profits from the tours also go back into the Center and is used to pay seamstresses a fair wage and fund community engagement initiatives, which include free literacy classes; a library with afternoon programming for children; and periodical sewing courses, English classes, and workshops on women's rights, health, and nutrition. Walking Tour of Nyamirambo The walking tour begins at the Women’s Center with a traditional snack, a quick Kinyarwanda language lesson, and an introduction to the Center and its activities. It then weaves through Nyamirambo, one of Kigali’s oldest neighborhoods. Along the way guides lead participants into a women's hairdressing salon where the adventurous type can get a free braid; into a family compound to pound cassava leaves; by two mosques and a lookout view over Kigali; and into a tailor shop to feel the fabrics you'll otherwise see styled on the streets. The tour concludes with an (optional) traditional lunch made and served in the home of Aminatha, NWC's best cook!
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 6 - Transfer to Nyungwe National Park- King's Palace Museum

09:00 - 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.
11:00 - 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.
13:00 - Lunch in Butare
Nyungwe National Park
Nyungwe Forest is a high-altitude, montane tropical rainforest in southern Rwanda established as a forest reserve in 1933. The conservation area consists of approximately 1015 km2. The forest is located in the Albertine Rift, a series of mountain ranges beginning at the Rwenzori Mountains in western Uganda and including eastern D.R. Congo, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, and northern Zambia. Contiguous with Kibira National Park in Burundi, Nyungwe is one of the largest montane rainforests remaining in Africa and East Africa’s largest protected high-altitude rainforest.
Check-in - 17:00 - One&Only Nyungwe House
The stunning One&Only Nyungwe House is located adjacent to Nyungwe National Park one of Africa’s oldest rainforests and offers a one-of-a-kind escape. Situated in five striking wooden villa clusters, the treetop-skimming, luxury suites and rooms are secluded amongst wonderfully untamed surroundings, with tea bushes growing in the grounds. This lodge is perfect for all adventure seekers as it is respectful of Rwanda’s beauty and heritage. Exceptional dining and selected beverages are included in your stay.

Day 7 - Chimpanzee Tracking & Canopy walkway

05:00 - Chimpanzee Trekking
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!
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 8 - Colobus Monkey tracking in Nyungwe - Lake Kivu

08:00 - Black-and-White Colobus
This morning, you will have the opportunity to track the black-and-white colobus in Nyungwe Forest National Park. These small primates are easily recognisable by their entirely black body with stark white whiskers, shoulders and tip of the tail. A troop of nearly 400 of these monkeys call Nyungwe National Park home, meaning that although sighting wild animals is never guaranteed, you stand a good chance of finding them within an hour or less into the trek. Social in nature, you will almost certainly experience playful interaction with these curious primates. Doing this trek will give you the opportunity to interact with the largest group of primates on the entire continent of Africa, a truly special experience.
Check-in - 16:00 - Cleo Lake Kivu Boutique Hotel
Set on the hillside of a peninsula overlooking Lake Kivu, Cleo Lake Kivu is a boutique hotel with intimate privacy and a wonderful place from where to experience some of the best adventures in Rwanda. This beautiful tropical retreat sources locally grown ingredients for true farm- and -lake-to-table dining. You can even join the chef as they select some ingredients from the on-site micro farm or collect eggs from the chicken coup. There is also a private swimming pool and relaxing spa treatments available.
16:30 - Sundowner cocktail on a House Boat
Typical Lake Kivu Luxury Enjoy your cocktail over Lake Kivu's sunset in a house boat as you float quietly until the sun goes down.

Day 9 - Adventure kayaking trip on Lake Kivu

08:00 - 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!
13:00 - Munini (Napoleon) Island
Hike to the summit of Munini, popularly known as Napoleon Island (because it’s shaped like his famous hat!), here you'll encounter a raucous colony of thousands of fruit bats that usually roost here during the day and enjoy one of the best views anywhere in Rwanda, a spectacular 360° panorama of Lake Kivu, over to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the lush green hills that form the backdrop to your adventure!
14:00 - Lake Kivu Island Lunch
With some of the best scenery in Rwanda, enjoy a delicious lunch on one of Lake Kivu's beautiful islands

Day 10 - Lake Kivu Journey and coffee tour

Depart - 09:00 - Lake Kivu Motorboat tour
12:00 - 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. Pro Tip: If combining this tour with a kayaking trip where you stay at Cyimbili guesthouse, it's a good idea to do the majority of the tour in the afternoon, and finish with the roasting experience, so you can have a cup of the best and most freshly roasted coffee in the world for breakfast!

Day 11 - Explore the countryside

10:00 - Lake Ruhondo North Shore Walk
Guided by an experienced Kingfisher Journey’s activity leader, you can enjoy a flat, gentle and relaxing walk along the shores of this stunning lake. Include a motorboat trip to a local restaurant or visit a small island for a picnic lunch - where you can see the best views of all five of the Virunga Volcanoes in Rwanda. Along the way you will spot aquatic birds, see local fishermen on the lake, maybe find some local beehives and pass a few small, friendly communities.
12:30 - Lake Ruhondo Island Lunch
With the best view of all five of the Virunga Volcanoes in Rwanda, you will enjoy your lunch on a small island in the middle of Lake Ruhondo.
14:30 - Twin Lakes Canoe Trip: Lake Ruhondo and Lake Bulera
As you gently glide along the surface of the water, look out for birds along the shore and truly soak up the tranquillity of Lake Bulera or Lake Ruhondo. These Twin Lakes are both overlooked by the breath-taking Virunga Volcanoes. Catch the most spectacular view in Rwanda or you could even end up watching the bright orange sunset paired with the silhouette of the volcanoes. This excursion would be perfectly suited for a relaxing and refreshing post-gorilla activity to end off an incredible day. You will receive a briefing at the starting point by an experienced Kingfisher Journeys activity leader. As you set off on the water, explore the lakes and look out for birds and wildlife along the way. If you have booked a short trip, you can expect to be out on the water for around 2.5 hours, with full-day trips up to 6 hours including a stop for a picnic lunch on an island. This activity aims to be more relaxing and focused on taking in the scenery, so be sure to take time between all the paddling to sit back and truly take in your surroundings. Bisate is located in the natural amphitheatre of an eroded volcanic cone, with dramatic views of the peaks of the Bisoke and Karisimbi volcanoes rearing up through Afro-alpine forests. Encountering one of the gorilla groups in the nearby Volcanoes National Park is a unique experience.

Day 12 - Golden Monkeys or Hike Volcano Bisoke

07:00 - Golden Monkeys
Today you will head out into the forest to track an endangered species of monkey known as the Golden Monkey. Spend 1 hour watching the monkey families play in the forest! This is a wonderful wildlife encounter as the proceeds from tourists visiting goes towards the research into the protection of this species and how to preserve their environment so that they do not become extinct. 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! Meet at the Volcanoes National Park headquarters at 07:00 and at 08:00 you will begin hiking through the forests to spend an hour with a troop of 40-100 playful golden monkeys who are jumping and running all around. This rare species is listed as endangered and there are currently two troops of monkeys of around 80 members, that have been habituated to visits by tourists in the park. You will trek to find the golden monkeys in a similar way to the gorilla trek, in a small group of no more than six people, spending one hour with the monkeys once you have found them. They are very sprightly creatures, leaping from tree to tree which is really entertaining to watch as they get on with their daily activities.
16:00 - The Ellen DeGeneres Campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund
To visit the Ellen DeGeneres Campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund is to see gorilla conservation in action. Building on Dian Fossey's pioneering work, now that gorilla populations of the Virunga Volcanoes are slowly increasing and their habitats are being protected, this centre is a highly recommended, remarkable place to visit. Mountain gorillas have been monitored and studied closely since Dian Fossey began her work with them in 1967, after establishing the Karisoke Research Center. She started the process of habituating them to the presence of human observers so that she could closely observe and document their behaviors, status, movements and other important information. Today, the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund trackers and researchers protect and study roughly half of all the mountain gorillas in Rwanda, with the other half protected by the Rwandan national park authorities. “Little did I know then that by setting up two small tents in the wilderness of the Virungas I had launched the beginnings of what was to become an internationally renowned research station eventually to be utilized by students and scientists from many countries,” Fossey wrote in her book “Gorillas in the Mist,” about the founding of “Karisoke,” a name she created from the nearby Mt. Karisimbi and Mt. Bisoke. Today all of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund’s work in Rwanda is run out of the Karisoke Research Center. Fossey’s original objectives in founding Karisoke were to study gorilla ecology, demography and social organization. She found herself spending days searching for and attempting to observe these elusive animals while encountering signs that poachers and other human intruders had preceded her. Fossey realized that to study gorilla ecology and behavior, she needed to recognize individual gorillas, which first required the gorillas to become accustomed, or habituated, to her presence. Thus began a 50-year legacy of study and protection of gorillas, now the longest-running field study of any primate, the source of much of our knowledge about gorillas, and the only conservation program that has led to an increase in a wild ape population. The story of Karisoke is one of enormous perseverance, courage and vision, on the part of hundreds of staff and researchers, and supporters from all over the world, as well as Fossey herself. In addition to Karisoke, Fossey founded the Digit Fund, which is today the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, carrying on and expanding her legacy. The Karisoke Research Center today is a program of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, with more than 100 expert gorilla trackers protecting about half of Rwanda’s mountain gorillas every day. It is also the world’s centrepiece for gorilla conservation and science, with more than 300 scientific publications based on data collected at Karisoke and one of the largest databases on any wild animal, as well as education and community programs that reach tens of thousands of people in the region each year. Note: Self-guided tours have a suggested donation, payable on arrival. There are also minimum donations for VIP Behind the Scene Tours and a Silverback Sundowner evening with the Fossey Fund staff. Rwandan Tax laws prevent us from booking these, but you can register, donate and then contact the Ellen Campus to arrange them directly.

Day 13 - The Mountain Gorillas of Rwanda

07:00 - Mountain Gorillas
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.
15:00 - 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.

Day 14 - Return to Kigali - Goodbye 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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