Rwanda is often called the land of a thousand hills. Everywhere you look you will see the beautiful green hills. In Rwanda you can enjoy culture, nature, primates and the beaches of Lake Kivu. This tour has been designed to bring you all the highlights of this beautiful country with a rich history. It includes the best highlights of Rwanda and you will depart from and return to Kigali.
Today, you will be picked from Kigali airport by a representative of Hotel des Mille Collines. Depending on your arrival time you may be able to visit some of Kigali’s craft markets to look through the pottery, carvings, batik, weaving, sculpture, musical instruments, leather and fabrics on offer. All activities and purchases today are at your own cost. The hotel you will be staying in is the world famous Hotel des Mille Collines from the movie Hotel Rwanda. This is a semi-luxury hotel.
Today morning after your breakfast, your guide will meet you at the hotel and will transfer you to Nyungwe Forest, one of the largest forests in East and Central Africa. The forest is abundant with flora and fauna including 13 primate species from colobus monkeys, mangabeys, blue monkeys and, of course, our cousins the chimpanzees. Nyungwe Forest is also a famous location for birders. With about 310 recorded bird species, 26 of which are endemic, this is one of the most important and still little known bird watching destinations in Africa. You will have en route lunch. In the evening, you will settle into your private cottage at Nyungwe forest lodge. This luxury lodge is one of the best in Rwanda.
After a very early morning breakfast, you will proceed to the chimpanzee tracking trail in either the Cyamudongo or Uwinka sections. The total population between the two groups is 80 individuals. This is an experience you will never forget. After the chimp tracking you can relax at the hotel or choose an optional activity that you can discuss with your guide.
In the afternoon you can go for East Africa’s only canopy walk. This walk takes place above a deep gorge cutting across the massive forest. Lasting about 1½ hours, the walk takes you through some beautiful foliage and animal habitats. En route you will have the chance to spot blue monkeys and unique birds that dwell in the upper levels of the forest canopy. Let us know if you would like to sign up for this activity.
In the morning you can enjoy the nice views from your lodge. After lunch you will travel to Kibuye on the eastern shores of Lake Kivu. If time allows, you can visit the Ndaba Falls or take a walk around Kibuye town. In the afternoon you can rent a boat and visit a few islands. All activities today are at your own cost. Your accommodation for the night is the semi luxury Cormoran Lodge located on the shores of Lake Kivu.
Today after breakfast, you will be transferred to Musanze, close to the beautiful Volcano range.Your lodge is located near the entrance of the national park with an amazing view overlooking the Virunga Volcanoes. From here you will start your Gorilla tracking tomorrow. You can upgrade to the luxury Virunga lodge which is one of the most beautiful lodges in the country. It has stunning beautiful views overlooking the Twin lakes and Volcanoes NP.
Today after breakfast, you will drive into the park about 30 minutes to the Office Rwandais du Tourisme et Des Parc Nationaux. The head ranger will divide you into groups based on interest and fitness. From here your guide will take you as close as possible to the starting point of your tracking. You will track one of the habituated Gorillas groups. The time taken to track the gorillas can take as little as half an hour to as much as 8 hours. Your track will be an exciting journey along forested slopes, entwined vines, bushes and bamboo before you eventually reach the gorillas’ current location. Your guide will point out signs of previous gorilla activity, including dung, nests and chewed bamboo shoots. Once the gorillas have been located, you will be allowed a maximum of one hour with them. Coming face-to-face with a mountain gorilla is a humbling and emotional experience.
Today after a relaxed breakfast you shall be transferred by your guide back to Kigali. Depending on your departure flight you can visit the Genocide Memorial and Education Centre, which opened in 2004. It’s a dignified tribute to the victims, including a poignant Children’s Memorial, and a detailed description of the darkest hour in Rwanda's recent history in time to catch your flight back home. Your guide will take you to the airport in time for your flight home. Note: This is only possible when your flight departs from Kigali at 3 p.m or later. If you need another night in Kigali, we will be happy to make a booking for you.