11 Days Rwanda Safari: Gorilla trekking and Wildlife tour
Safari Overview – 11 Days Rwanda Safari: for a Gorilla trekking safari and Wildlife tour in Rwanda chimpanzee trekking. 11 Days Safari to Rwanda Nyungwe Forest, Akagera National Park
Brief Itinerary – 11 Days Rwanda Safari: Gorilla trekking and Wildlife tour
- Day 1: Arrival at Kigali
- Day 2: Akagera National Park, Carter Lake – Boat Drive & Game Drive
- Day 3: Game Drive & return to Kigali
- Day 4: Kigali City Tour
- Day 5: Virunga National Park
- Day 6: Gorilla Trekking
- Day 7: Lake Kivu
- Day 8: Nyungwe Forest National Park
- Day 9: Chimpanzee trekking
- Day 10: Return to Kigali
- Day 11: Kigali Tour
Detailed Itinerary – 11 Days Rwanda Safari: Gorilla trekking and Wildlife tour
Day 1: Arrival at Kigali . On the first day of your 11 Days Rwanda Safari: Gorilla trekking and Wildlife tour, you will be met at the Kigali International Airport by your Jewel Safari guide, taken to your hotel in Kigali and given a briefing on the next few days activities. Time permitting, your guide can take you on a tour of Kigali city, including the Genocide Memorial Center and possibly a local market or handicraft workshop. Kigale is a robust, vibrant city with lots of activity, including a number of new hotels, a variety of restaurants, bars and clubs.
The city itself is very green with each district distinguished by one of the “hills” that compose the metropolitan area. Exploring both the city center and its environs, is most interesting; Kigali is very different from other East and Central African urban areas, in that there is no pollution, traffic jams and piles of unsightly garbage on the sides of the road. A concerted effort by the government to clean up the environment has proven to be most successful and it stands out from the rest in terms of its cleanliness and organization.
When you are ready to relax, you will be taken back to your hotel, have a little rest and enjoy dinner in your hotel.
Day 2: Akagera National Park, Carter Lake – Boat Drive & Game Drive. After breakfast you will be taken by your guide to the Akagera National Park. The drive is 2 – 4 hours, depending on how many of the optional stops you choose to make. Your Jewel Safaris guide will enlighten you of the options that are available along the way; local handicraft workshops, villages with cultural centers and the like, are available..
When you arrive at your accommodation you will be served lunch..
After lunch, you will be taken on a boat ride on one of the Crater Lakes in the National Park, as well as a game drive through the park, in search of the many wildlife species there. When you are ready for a rest, your guide will take you back to your accommodation.
Dinner will be served at your hotel.
Day 3: Game Drive & return to Kigali. After breakfast you will be taken on a game drive to the Northern sector of Akagera National Park; the best location in the park to view the big game. The park roads are not tarmacked and traveling through the park is at a slower pace; in terms of sighting the animals, this is much more appropriate, and you will not be disappointed with the variety of wildlife that you will encounter.
Lunch will be in form of a picnic en route in the park, as traveling to a lodge or restaurant will only lessen your exposure to the game.
In the afternoon, you will return to Kigali, and check into your hotel. Depending on the time you arrive, your guide will be happy to give you information on the optional activities that are available in Kigale. You can choose to explore the city with your guide, or just relax in the hotel.
Dinner will be served at your hotel.
Day 4: Kigali City Tour. Today you will be given a full-day guided tour of the Memorial and Genocide sites as well as many other attractions within the environs of Kigali; you will have the opportunity to visit both Nyamata, about 30 kilometers from the city center and Nyamirambo, one of the oldest and most culturally mixed district of Kigali City, where the community is centered by a most innovative and active Women’s center.
Lunch will be in a typical Rwandan restaurant, either in Kigali town, or en route to Nyamata. There will be many opportunities to visit local markets, handicraft workshops and boutiques along the journey. Your Jewel Safaris guide will inform you of all the options as you move about.
When you are ready to relax or go for a swim, your guide will take you back to your hotel; dinner will be at your hotel
Day 5: Virunga National Park. After breakfast, you will be driven to the Virunga National Park. It is about a 2 hour drive, but again, your guide will keep you informed of any interesting stop you might want to make along the route. When you reach the park, you will check in to your hotel, rest up and have some lunch.
After lunch, you will be taken on a Cultural encounter to a couple of the local villages to meet with the community and see some of the cultural offerings they have to offer; this could be in the form of a dance, with local musicians accompanying the performers as well as handicrafts and artwork that is locally produced. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 6: Gorilla Trekking. After breakfast, you will be taken on a Gorilla Trek to seek out the Silverbacks and their families; depending on where the gorillas are that morning, it will take from 3 to 8 hours. Your Ranger guide will take you through the light mountainous forest in search of these amazing Silverbacks. Because of the uncertainty of how long you will be roaming the forest, you will be given a packed lunch to consume during the tracking.
After you have encountered the Gorillas, and spent about an hour watching them in their daily routine, you will be taken back to your accommodation for dinner and overnight.
Day 7: Lake Kivu. After breakfast on the seventh day of your 11 Days Rwanda Safari: Gorilla trekking and Wildlife tour, you take a most beautiful drive from the Virunga National Park to and around Lake Kivu. Along the way, your Jewel Safaris guide will tell you of optional detours you may choose to make, depending on your interests; there are small villages along the way, and many opportunities to meet and greet the local people.
Lunch will be en route in a traditional Rwandan restaurant, which will give you the opportunity to taste the local delights.
After lunch you will continue the safari around the lake. When you have completed the tour, you will be taken to your accommodation, checked in, and given some time to rest up.
Day 8: Nyungwe Forest National Park. After breakfast, you will drive to the Nyungwe Forest in western Rwanda. This will involve a couple of hours of driving. Along the way, you will stop in Butare, the Intellectual Capital of Rwanda; a university and seminary town.
In Butare, you will be taken to a local restaurant for some Rwandese food. There are also opportunities both in Butare and along the way, to visit handicraft workshops and local markets to see what the local people are producing.
After lunch you will continue your drive to the Forest; check into your accommodation for dinner and overnight.
Day 9: Chimpanzee trekking . After an early breakfast, you will be taken to the Ranger Station to begin your Chimp Tracking Safari. This will take 2 or 3 hours in length, depending on how soon you meet up with a chimpanzee family.
Lunch at Gisakura Guest House, next to the Tea Plantation.
After lunch there is a choice of either a forest walk or a visit to the tea plantation; if time permits, both are possible. When you have completed your afternoon activities, your guide will take you back to your accommodation for dinner and overnight.
Day 10: Return to Kigali. After breakfast on the tenth day of your 11 Days Rwanda Safari: Gorilla trekking and Wildlife tour, you will begin your journey back to Kigali; with a stopover in the town of Nyanza, the old capital of the Kingdom of Rwanda (1958 – 1962), and the site of the Royal Palace, now known as the Rwesoro Art Museum. The town of Nyanza was the site of one of the largest massacres of Tutsis and Moderate Hutus.
Your guide will take you to a local restaurant in Nyanza to taste Rwandese food.
After lunch, you will continue your journey to Kigali. There are a number of possible stops en route; your guide will inform you of what is available, particularly in terms of handicraft workshops and local markets. When you reach Kigali, you will be taken to your hotel; if you would like to investigate some of the attractions in the city, your guide is available to take you around; alternately, you may wish to rest or go for a swim.
Dinner at your hotel in Kigali.
Day 11: Kigali Tour. After breakfast, depending on the time of your flight, you will continue your tour of Kigali. There are many attractions available to visit, including local markets and handicraft workshops; for those people that like entertainment, Kigali is a good place for local music and cultural exhibits.
When the time is appropriate, your guide will escort you to the airport for your onward flight or to your accommodation in Kigali.
Accommodation is booked in accordance with your preferences and depending on your budget and availability
Akagera National Park
Akagera National Park, founded in 1934, is the largest protected wetland in central Africa. The park is 1,200 square kilometers and consists of 3 ecosystems, savannah, mountain and swamp. Along the eastern boundary is the Kagera River, which the park takes its name from. The park is home to many large plains game species such as Elephants, Buffalo, Topi, Zebra, Waterbuck, Roan Antelope and Eland. Other antelopes in the park include, dulker, orbi, bohor reedbuck kilpspringer, bush-buck and impala. Primates are in abundance as well; olive baboons, vervet monkeys, and blue monkeys, as well as bushbabies are regularly seen, especially at night.
Lions were re-introduced into the park recently; in addition there are leopards, hyena and side-striped jackal. There are plans to introduce the black rhino shortly, which will give Akagera National Park, Big 5 status. There are over 500 bird species in the park, as well as countless water birds that inhabit the vast wetlands.
Virunga National Park
Virunga National Park is Africa’s most biologically diverse protected area. The Park is 7,800 square kilometers in size and includes forest, savannas, lava plains, swamps, erosion valleys, active volcanoes and the glaciated peaks of the Rwenzori mountains.
In addition to being the home of a quarter of the world’s Mountain Gorillas, Virunga National Park also has two other Great Ape species, the eastern lowland gorillas and chimpanzees. Another interesting inhabitant of the park is the Okapi; an endangered specie that resembles a zebra but is more closely related to the giraffe. There are lots of hippo, forest and savanna elephants, lions and many rare bird species.
Lake Kivu forms the Western boundary of Rwanda, together with a string of smaller freshwater lakes; the other side being the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The drive between the Nyungwe Forest National Park and Volcanoes National Park is best done with this route around Lake Kivu; the gorgeous views at every turn, the eucalyptus trees lining the road, and the miles of terraced hills filled with banana forests, make the journey most pleasant. You will be greeted by visitors along the way; the 3 towns en route are roughly 3 – 4 hours apart from one another, each one offering quiet but busy encounters for the traveler. These towns are Gisenyi, Kibuye and Cyangugu.
Nyungwe Forest National Park
The Nyungwe Forest National Park, in the southwest corner of Rwanda, is a vast untouched tropical rainforest, with a high dense canopy. Here in the park, there are huge tall old mahoganies, ebonies and giant tree ferns that tower above you; at the same time there are orchids and other epiphytes clinging to the branches. In addition to the flora and fauna, Nyungwe Forest is renowned for the variety of primates (25% of Africa’s total) that co-exist with the over 300 brightly coloured bird species and hundreds of different butterflies everywhere. To get a real sense of the magnitude of the forest, one can walk the 50 meter metal suspension bridge that has been built above the canopy; truly an unforgettable experience.
Activities in Nyungwe Forest National Park are for the active trekkers. There are many treks available, the most popular being the Chimpanzee Trek; but other primates are there to be sought, such as the grey-cheeked mangabey and Rwenzori colobus monkeys. Forest hiking trails are in available; a total of 130 kilometers have been created. The trails last from 1 to 8 hours the Igishigishigi Trail is one of the shortest, but includes East Africa’s highest canopy walk with spectacular views of Nyungwe Forest.
- Transport- tour vehicle, fuel and driver
- Gorilla permit
- Chimpanzee permit
- Accommodation as per agreement
- Meals up to incl breakfast last day
- Entrance fees.
- All activities.
- Bottled drinking water
- Air ticket
- Personal expenses.
- Cost for anything that is not mentioned in the itinerary.