7 Days Primates and Wildlife in Rwanda

7 Days Primates and Wildlife in Rwanda

Spot the big primates that is the mountain gorillas and the chimpanzees in their natural setting, the big five animals (lions, leopards, rhino, buffalos and elephants), water loving animals and birds like the hippos, crocodiles, kingfishers, fish eagles and many more.

Safari Highlights

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DAY TO DAY HIGHLIGHT

SAFARI OVERVIEW

This and an ultimate wildlife and primate safari in Rwanda where you visit the 3 notable national parks in the land of a thousand hills. Spot the big primates that is the mountain gorillas and the chimpanzees in their natural setting, the big five animals (lions, leopards, rhino, buffalos and elephants), water loving animals and birds like the hippos, crocodiles, kingfishers, fish eagles and many more.

The main activities will be chimpanzees and Gorilla trekking, game drive, boat cruise and canopy walk. If time allows depending on your departure time, take a city tour where notable attractions like the Kigali genocide memorial grounds, art and gallery centers, local markets and many more others.

  • Day1. Kigali-Akagera National park
  • Day2. Game drive and boat cruise
  • Day3. Head to Volcanoes national park
  • Day4. Gorilla trekking
  • Day5. Head to Nyungwe national park
  • Day6. Chimpanzee trekking and canopy walk
  • Day7. Head back to Kigali

DAY BY DAY ITINERARY

Day1. Kigali-Akagera National park

Be picked by the assigned driver guide at the hotel or airport in Kigali and transfer to Akagera national park for a wildlife adventure. As you journey to this amazing park that neighbors Tanzania, enjoy the surrounding landscape of thousand hills. Arrive and immediately check in the accommodation facility for dinner.

Day2. Game drive and boat cruise

Begin the day with a 2 hours game drive where you encounter large number of animals such as the lions, elephants, Masai giraffes, baboons, zebras, leopards, rhinos, warthogs, buffalos, impalas, topi, hyenas and many more others.

In the afternoon, take an afternoon boat cruise on Lake Ihema which is the biggest Lake in this park. The two hours will reward you with read scenery, spot animals like hippos, crocodiles and many more others. This will be the day where savannah wildlife will be discovered.

Day3. Head to Volcanoes national park

Leave Akagera national park in the morning immediately after breakfast and have a chance to explore the twin Lake of Burera and Ruhondo. Take a canoe ride on one of the lakes as you enjoy the beautiful birds and the surrounding environment. Arrive late evening and check in the accommodation facility.

Day4. Gorilla trekking

Immediately after breakfast, take a short drive to the park offices to receive briefing. This exercise is very important since it helps to protect both trekkers and wildlife in the jungle. The rules and regulations such as don’t vocalize, keep a distance, visitors with flue and other colds are not allowed to trek among Other, proper dressing code the reflects with nature, materials you need to carry and many more others.

Begin the search with a guidance of the park ranger guide and on meeting a gorilla family trekked, spend an hour in their presence as you witness on how they groom their young ones, breastfeed, search for food and many more others. The family is headed by the male Silverback which is always seen practicing its leadership skills. Thereafter, head to the lodge for your leisure evening but the overall experience can take about 6 to 8 hours while in the jungle.

Day5. Head to Nyungwe national park

Leave for Nyungwe forest national park after breakfast a journey that will take about 4 to 5 hours’ drive. On arrive you can opt to take a nature walk in the park. Nyungwe national park is a home to 13 primates including chimpanzees which are the main attractions. Apart from the primates, the park is a home to different and unique birds, large mammals like forest elephants, duikers and many more others. Arrive and check in the safari lodge.

Day6. Chimpanzee trekking and canopy walk

Like the day for gorilla trekking, begin this day with heavy breakfast and then head to the park offices for briefing. This won’t be different from that of gorilla trekking in Volcanoes national park. Begin the search and meeting a community grants you an opportunity to spend an hour following their movements and behaviors. The chimps are so interesting since they jump from one tree to another swinging in the tree branches. After the experience, head back to the lodge and prepare for an afternoon adventure.

Immediately take a 2 hours canopy walk where you encounter great number of primates such as black and white colobus monkeys, varvet monkeys, red colobus monkeys, olive baboons, L’hoests monkeys and many more others. Head back to the lodge and prepare for your next departure.

Day7. Head back to Kigali

Leave Nyungwe and transfer back to Kigali city with a chance of visiting the genocide memorial ground of Kigali, local markets, art centers and many more others. Be dropped at the airport and this marks the end of the safari.

Included in The package/Price:

  • Transfers in a exclusive 4×4 Customized jeep
  • All Airport Transfers.
  • 6 Nights Accommodation
  • 1 Gorilla Permit Per Person
  • All Activities as mentioned in the itinerary
  • 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.

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