10 Days Best of Rwanda Safari

10 Days Best of Rwanda Safari

The 10 Days Best of Rwanda Safari is adventurous packed itinerary introducing you to finest parks in Rwanda to unearth their hidden treasures. Combine the wilderness experience and historical/cultural exploration in Rwanda. Areas of target on this adventurous trip includes wildlife tour in Akagera National Park –home to all the big five game, primate treks in the African jungles of Nyungwe Forest National Park and Volcanoes National Park.

Safari Highlights

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DAY TO DAY HIGHLIGHT

SAFARI OVERVIEW

Interesting primates to expect to look for include chimpanzees, colobus monkeys, l’hoest monkeys, olive baboons, (excellently spotted on a chimpanzee trekking or canopy walk in Nyungwe Forest N/Park). Enjoy a close view of mountain gorillas in the wild while in the spectacular bamboo and verdant rainforest-dominated Volcanoes National Park.

  • Day 1: Arrival, pick up & start city tour in Kigali
  • Day 2: Travel to Akagera National Park – Game drive
  • Day 3: Game drive & boat cruise
  • Day 4: Pick up in Akagera national park, drive to Nyungwe forest
  • Day 5: Chimpanzee trekking & Canopy walk adventure
  • Day 6: Colobus monkey trek & visit the tea estates/communities
  • Day 7: Pick up from Nyungwe forest, drive to Volcanoes National Park
  • Day 8: Gorilla trekking.
  • Day 9: Track the golden monkeys & visit Twin Lakes
  • Day 10: Depart.
  • End of safari

DAY BY DAY ITINERARY

Day 1: Arrival, pick up & start city tour in Kigali

Meet our representative on arrival at Kigali Airport. You will be warmly welcomed to Rwanda, exit the airport ready for your first phase of Rwanda expedition with Kigali city tour. This is a short trip but will enrich you with the country’s historic event –Rwanda genocide of 1994 and this will be at the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre.

Before you connect to the hotel for a night stay, you may pay a visit to Kimironko market to meet locals as they conduct their daily activities of buying and selling, and use this chance to purchase some fresh fruits.

Day 2: Travel to Akagera National Park – Game drive

A hearty breakfast will be enjoyed in the morning and after, board a 4×4 safari vehicle ready to embark on a 2.5 hours’ drive journey to Akagera National Park. On arrival, proceed to the lodge to check in, relax and enjoy a delicious lunch. In the afternoon, you will proceed with a game drive using a 4×4 vehicle.

A game drive in Akagera NP allows you to spot various wildlife species such as cape buffaloes, giraffes, elephants, lions, leopards, hyenas, zebras, and antelopes like Waterbucks, Topis, Bushbucks, Klipspringers, Duikers, Cape Elands, Impalas and roan antelopes.

Day 3: Game drive & boat cruise

Start your guided game drive early in the morning and you will be using a comfortable 4×4 safari vehicle. Enjoy clear sights of Akagera National Park’s abundant wildlife including elephants, lions, giraffes, roan antelopes, bushbucks and birds. On a lucky day, you will also come across the elusive leopards.

Upon return to your lodge, have a relaxed moment while taking some refreshments. In the afternoon, you will be joining other nature enthusiasts on a boat cruise along Lake Ihema. The boat cruise sightings to expect on this day include hippos, crocodiles and other aquatic bird species.

Day 4: Pick up in Akagera national park, drive to Nyungwe forest

After a heavy breakfast, you will check out from your lodge and set off to Nyungwe Forest National Park. It will be a long day drive trip to the Southern Province of Rwanda Nyungwe is found. It won’t be a long boring journey but includes stopovers en route, especially at Nyanza museum, Butare and many other sites worth capturing. At Nyungwe, you will have the most of your time just relaxing and waiting the next day’s experiences.

Day 5: Chimpanzee trekking & Canopy walk adventure

Leave your lodge for briefing at Cyamudongo visitor reception; get to know the different regulations to observe on a guided chimpanzee trekking adventure. Set off with an experienced park guide to search for habituated chimpanzee communities in their natural habitat. This primate adventure includes observing the daily behaviors of chimpanzees, their feeding habits and also taking pictures.

Nyungwe Forest is endowed beyond chimpanzees, and today’s trek allows you keep eyes on other primates too. The park also inhabits many l’hoest monkeys, olive baboons, colobus monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, and vervet monkeys, etc.

Return for lunch and relaxation, then you will have an addition of guided canopy walk. The guided canopy walk involves navigating via a suspended walkway, built 60m from the ground and extends 200m.

Day 6: Colobus monkey trek & visit the tea estates/communities

Wake up early for breakfast and set off for another day of exploring different primates in Nyungwe. Today, your focus lies on the colobus monkeys and the park holds over 400 individuals.

Explore the already habituated troops of colobus monkeys and expect to come across other primates like the red-tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, vervet monkeys, olive baboons, l’hoest monkeys, and others. In the afternoon after lunch and refreshment, embark on a guided tour to the tea estates or nearby community. Explore the various stages of tea farming till the final stage when it is ready for consumption.

Day 7: Pick up from Nyungwe forest, drive to Volcanoes National Park

You will start your journey to Volcanoes National Park early in the morning and behind the wheels will be an experienced driver guide. You will have stopovers en route to take pictures of the scenic countryside and also have lunch. En route to Ruhengeri, Lake Kivu sighting shouldn’t be missed.

Day 8: Gorilla trekking.

Begin your exciting day with a hearty breakfast and proceed for briefing about the gorilla trekking guidelines. The park guide will go ahead to assign a habituated gorilla group to you to be trekked by maximum of 8 visitors. It will be 2-6 hours search for your habituated gorilla family and once you find it, you will enjoy 1 hour face-to-face with your favorite apes.

There are less than 1063 mountain gorillas left on earth with their survival still affected by poaching, habitat loss and spread of infectious diseases. You will be observing a family of these apes at a distance of about 7-8 meters and use non-flashlight cameras.

Start walking back to the lodge for relaxation and this is after the 1 hour of a magical encounter. The afternoon includes visiting the Iby’Iwacu cultural village and main target is to experience the unique cultures and traditions of Rwandese.

Day 9: Track the golden monkeys & visit Twin Lakes

After breakfast, you will be transferred to Kinigi and today’s briefing will be about golden monkey trekking or Dian Fossey hike. It will be 2-4 hours’ guided walk through Volcanoes National Park and you will get back to relax at the lodge. In the afternoon, you may opt to relax at the lodge or visit the twin Lakes– (Lake Burera and Ruhondo).

Day 10: Depart.

Not much will be done today except check out of the lodge and drive back to Kigali city. From Kigali, your driver guide will take you straight to the airport to depart back home or remain at the hotel.

End of safari

Included in The package/Price:

  • Transfers in a exclusive 4×4 Customized jeep
  • All Airport Transfers.
  • 9 Nights Accommodation
  • 1 Gorilla Permit Per Person
  • All Activities as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Canopy Walk
  • Chimp Permit per person
  • City Tour
  • Boat Cruise
  • Game Drive
  • Bottled water on safari

Excluded in the Package

  • Personal International flight
  • Visa (USD $50 or $100 for east African tourist visa
  • Meals and drinks not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Items of personal nature
  • Laundry service
  • Tips

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F.A.Q.

There is no standard price for Uganda, Rwanda or Congo gorilla permit –each country has its rates. In Uganda, the charges vary depending on the visitor category. The foreign non-residents are charged USD 700 to have their gorilla permits booked, USD 600 for foreign residents and Ugandans (East Africa citizens) pay shs. 250,000 per person. To have a gorilla permit secured/booked, you need USD 1500 for Rwanda and this is most ideal for luxury/high-end travelers interested in visiting the endangered mountain gorillas.

When booking a gorilla permit, it is also a good thing to have a destination of your desire in mind. The key places to consider a must-visit on gorilla tour include Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park –these are gorilla trekking destinations for tourists on a tour in Uganda. In Rwanda, Volcanoes National Park is where you can locate habituated mountain gorilla families and crossing the D.R. Congo, you can explore Virunga National Park.

It is a good thing to also understand when best to book your gorilla permits to avoid having issues on actual date of gorilla trekking. Considering our experience, we always recommend our clients to have their permits booked early enough at least 2-4 months. This can save you from last minute stress, especially if you plan to travel during the dry season also considered to be the peak season. The peak months of the year fall around June, July, August to September, and December, January to February.

Gorilla permits are among the relevant documents visitors must have to be allowed to track gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Not any gorilla permit should be presented on actual gorilla trekking adventure but a valid one. Booking gorilla permits is part of making the entire gorilla trip complete and should be done early enough before the actual visit to see mountain gorillas or eastern lowland gorillas.

To have your gorilla permit booked, there is a process one should undergo through and is generally tedious. Considering your tight schedule back home, you may wonder how easier you can have your permit booked in advance to avoid last minute stress.

The easiest way to secure your gorilla permit in Uganda or Rwanda is by dealing with a recognized tour operator/company on the ground. This is where our reservation team comes in. As part of your gorilla safari requirement, our team being on ground will ensure that your permit is booked early enough and everything else that is needed for gorilla trekking is put together.

The beauty about dealing with local safari company such as ours is that we have knowledge on the different gorilla groups and surrounding communities plus various accommodation facilities for your night stay. This is in addition to making the entire gorilla permit booking process easier on behalf of our clients.

There is also an option of booking the permit directly through the reservation team of respective park authorities. But the challenge is that you must undergo through the long process to have your permit booked and this may not favor you depending on your schedule. Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) is an organ in charge not only for conservation of wildlife in the Pearl of Africa but also sets prices for tourism activities in the parks including gorilla permits. In Rwanda, you can contact Rwanda Tourism Board/Rwanda Development Board to have your permit booked.

The East African tourist visa is a joint visa that permits one to travel to specific countries within East Africa, namely Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda only. A joint tourist visa can be used several times for various purposes as long as it’s not overdue. 

Tourists should therefore find it important to always remember that the tourist visa lasts for only 90 days.  Processing the tourist visa takes a maximum period of two working days. It is also important to note that the tourist visa prohibits employment.

The process of applying for a tourist visa has been made easier since it can be done with the help of a tour operator or by the individual themselves online through the Ministry of Internal Affairs immigration portal. Visitors are required to log in to the portal, go ahead and accept the terms and conditions for the tourist visa, select the Visa / permit type, the subcategory and category, complete the application form and upload the required documents. 

A reference number will be generated and sent to you through your email, submit it and proceed to payment. It’s important to note that the payment can be made using Visa cards.  An approval letter will be sent to your email after the above process.

Report at the immigration office or border post for the biometric capture with all the necessary documents, receipt of payment, approval letter and your passport. Visitors should regard it as important to enter through the home country issuing the visa.

The East African tourist visa costs a fee of $100 only, meaning that it can be obtained by all travelers ranging from the budget to luxurious ones.

  • Persons aged 15 years and above are allowed to trek gorillas.
  • Avoid sneezing in the presence of gorillas.
  • Always stay away from gorillas by observing distance
  • Do not try to feed gorillas
  • Do not chew in the presence of gorillas
  • Do not take photos with flash light on.