Rwanda Gorilla, Chimpanzee & Wildlife Tour Itinerary
Day 1: Tour the Gisozi genocide memorial & drive to Akagera National Park Sun set boat ride on Lake Ihema
After breakfast, you embark on the tour to the Gisozi genocide memorial. The tour allows you to explore the living museum of the 1994 Rwandan genocide. The museum features writings, audio presentations in various sections of the gallery that would avail you with the general picture of what actually transpired during the horrific genocide. You retreat from the activity and embark on the drive to Akagera National Park 135km about 2 ½ hours’ drive arriving in the afternoon for a sun set boat cruise on Lake Ihema – the second largest lake in Rwanda. This offers possibilities of viewing Hippos, Nile Crocodiles and birds before retiring for relaxation, dinner and overnight.
Day 2: Unlimited game drive in Akagera National Park
The day is dedicated for a whole day game stretching from the south of Akagera to the north of same park. The habitats are different and thus, every stretch comes with a unique landscape and henceforth the diverse wildlife sightings. The game drive in Akagera NP offers possibilities of exploring elephants, Maasai giraffes, Leopard, Impala, Buffaloes, Water bucks, Oribi, Eland, reedbuck, Roan antelope, bushbucks, Lions, Black Rhinos among others. You will carry along the lunch for a picnic lunch in the park.
Day 3: Drive to Nyungwe Forest National Park, Tour Rwandan Museums & Nyanza Palace in Butare en route
Following an early breakfast, you embark on the drive to Nyungwe Forest National Park which is 268km about 6 hours’ driving through impressive southern province landscapes with impressive hills with local settlements before making a stop in Butare to explore the Ethnographic Museum with a count of 100,000 artifacts that feature the history, culture and heritage in Rwanda. You continue on the tour to visit the Nyanza Royal Palace to explore the ancient palace notable for having been a home to the two Rwandan Kings – King Musinga and his successor King Rudahigwa. The site features an impressive architectural hut and the traditional Inyambo cows. You proceed to arrive in Nyungwe forest in the evening for relaxation, dinner and overnight.
Day 4: Undertake Chimpanzee Trekking in the morning & Nyungwe Canopy Walk in the afternoon
IAfter a cup of tea, gather at the park headquarters for an 8:00am briefing about chimpanzee trekking. This forest is considered the largest montane forest in the region and is a rich habitat to 310 bird species and over 75 mammal species, including thirteen primate species. The chimp trek tends to last two to five hours, including the one hour you will spend with the chimps as you watch them munch fruit, swing from tree branches, socialize, patrol and participate in other activities. Finish your trek and return to the lodge for relaxation and lunch. In the afternoon, you will transfer to the Uwinka Visitor Center to embark on the afternoon Nyungwe canopy walk. This two hour walk on top of the forest canopy offers you impressive views of the forest and the species that thrive in it, including primates and birds. Later you will return to the lodge for relaxation, dinner and your overnight stay.
Day 5: Transfer to Volcanoes National Park Sightseeing of en route landscapes
After breakfast, embark on the transfer to Volcanoes National Park 294km about 8 hours drive enjoying some scenic sections of the Congo – Nile divide trail along with the views of impressive Lake Kivu before approaching Gisenyi for relaxation, dinner and overnight.
Day 6: Do Mountain Gorilla tracking in Volcanoes NP and transfer back to Kigali
Connect to headquarters of the Volcanoes National Park at Kinigi to attend to briefing at 8am. If you arrive earlier, you catch up with the impressive Kinyarwanda performances and a free cup of coffee served at the site. After the gorilla family allocation and briefing, you head to the mist in search of the critically endangered mountain gorillas. Trek through impressive landscapes with the Volcanic soils which may not be all that firm and can be slippery. The park also features lush flora and bird species. The one hour moment with the gorillas is also remarkable. It is an exciting adventure to come into a direct contact with the mountain gorillas. The entire trek is not predictable but can range from 2 – 8 hours. You retire from the activity and embark on the transfer to Kigali 116km about 2 – 3 hours’ drive driving through impressive hill sides of Rwanda arriving in the evening to mark the end of the safari.