8 Days Rwanda Primates Safari

8 Days Rwanda Primates Safari: Rwanda is incredibly interesting to visit in its incredible scenic hilly landscapes making her famous as “Land of a thousand hills” rich in biodiversity. This 8 Days Rwanda Primates safaris takes you to Rwanda’s most visited primates’ destinations that is Volcanoes national park and Nyungwe national park with a bit of relaxation during the trip. Volcanoes national park is the most popular park unique for gorilla trekking along with other 2 parks in Uganda and 1 in Congo. Volcanoes national park has about 10 habituated gorilla families for tourism. Apart from gorilla trekking, Volcanoes national park is also a home to the endangered golden monkeys and a few of the forest animals and the park hosts about 200 different bird species. Nyungwe forest national park on the other hands is home to the endangered chimpanzees and 12 other species of primates. Trekking chimpanzees in Nyungwe forest is one of the most scenic experiences under the montane rainforest and walking on a canopy above the forest is an added beautiful experience. Enjoy other excursions include visiting Lake Kivu bordering Congo and a city tour in Kigali city. 

Highlights

  • Day 1: Arrival in Kigali – Rwanda/Kigali city tour
  • Day 2: Transfer to Volcanoes national park – Community tour 
  • Day 3: Gorilla trekking experience  
  • Day 4: Golden monkey tracking and transfer to Gisenyi 
  • Day 5: Full day excursion Lake Kivu 
  • Day 6: Transfer to Nyungwe forest national park
  • Day 7: Chimpanzee trekking and Canopy walk 
  • Day 8: Return to Kigali 

Detailed itinerary 

Day 1: Arrival in Kigali – Rwanda 

Upon arrival at Kigali international airport with your confirmed booked flight, you will be met by your safari driver who will be your guide throughout the trip, meet and greet, pack your luggage in the safari vehicle and drive to your booked accommodation in Kigali city. Depending on your time of arrival, doing a city tour on this day will be the best.  Visit some of the interesting places in Kigali including the Kigali genocide memorial, drive to one of the hills in Kigali for a city view and a market tour. Return in the evening to your Hotel for dinner and overnight stay

  • Luxury option: Kigali Serena Hotel
  • Mid-range option: Des Mille Collins Hotel
  • Budget option: Step Town Motel  

Day 2: Transfer to Volcanoes national park – Community tour 

After breakfast, check-out of the hotel and embark on your journey to transfer to Volcanoes national park. It’s a 2-3 hours’ drive from Kigali to Musanze where we find the home of the endangered mountain gorillas. 

Arrive in Musanze at good time for lunch after checking-in your booked accommodation. Later afternoon, visit Iby’wacu Cultural Village-a Non-Profit umbrella organization that aims at improving the lives of reformed poachers and communities around Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park through provision of conservation incentives, supporting community enterprise development and livelihood based projects. It’s a rewarding place where you will be guided around the place as you enjoy the Kinyarwanda traditions including the Intore dance, traditional ceremonies and a guided community walk. Connect to your booked accommodation for dinner and overnight stay at

  • Luxury option: 5 Volcanoes Gorilla lodge/Virunga lodge
  • Mid-range option: Le Bambou Gorilla lodge/Da Vinci Gorilla lodge 
  • Budget option: Hotel Muhabura/Kinigi Guesthouse

Day 3: Gorilla trekking experience 

After early morning breakfast, you will be transferred to the Kinigi park headquarters with your trekking gears for a briefing about the endangered mountain gorillas. You have been allocated a gorilla family to trek, connect to the starting point and start Gorilla trekking along with the guidance of the armed ranger guides together with the ranger guides. This activity may take between 2-8 hours searching for the gorillas depending on their movement. However meeting them is so rewarding and you will spend maximally 1 hour with them as you take time studying them and taking pictures and videos. After spending your time with the fascinating mountain gorillas, return to the base and meet your driver to connect to your lodge for lunch and refresh. Spend the rest of your day at leisure. Dinner and overnight stay at booked lodge as above

Day 4: Golden monkey trekking – transfer to Gisenyi 

After early morning breakfast, drive back to the park headquarters for briefing about the endangered golden monkeys and be allocated a group. Connect to the tracking starting point and enter the forest to search for the rare golden monkey. This activity can take about 1-5 hours and is done at closer view of the other primates in the park like the red tailed monkeys, Vervet monkeys among other. After viewing the rare golden monkeys for an hour while taking pictures and studying their behaviours, return to the base and meet your drive back to the lodge. 

After lunch, check-out of the lodge and drive to Gisenyi. It’s a 2 hours’ drive from Musanze. Upon arriving in Gisenyi, connect to your booked accommodation located close to Lake Kivu shores for great views. Relax at the lodge, dinner and overnight stay at 

  • Luxury option: Lake Kivu Serena Hotel 
  • Mid-range option: Palm Garden Hotel 
  • Budget option: Paradise Malahide Hotel

Day 5: Full day excursion at Lake Kivu 

After your breakfast, transfer to explore Lake Kivu and connect to Rubavu town at the shores of Lake Kivu where you will spend the rest of the day enjoying the shores while taking boat trips to the island of the lake, a town tour with lunch en-route and relaxing at the shores as you enjoy the breeze. Dinner and overnight stay at lodge as above

Day 6: Transfer to Nyungwe forest national park 

After enjoying your delicious breakfast at leisure, embark on your journey to Nyungwe forest national park which is a 6-7 hours’ drive from Gisenyi. Drive through the rolling hills and great views of Virunga Mountains. Upon arrival in Nyungwe forest, connect to your booked lodge for dinner and overnight stay at your booked lodge

  • Luxury option: One and Only Nyungwe House
  • Mid-range option: Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel
  • Budget option: Gisakura Visitors Centre 

Day 7: Chimpanzee trekking and canopy walk

Enjoy breakfast and go for briefing about the endangered chimpanzees before entering the forest in search of the active and playful fellows in the Nyungwe forest. The Chimpanzees are much easier to spot as they jump from one tree to another, chattering and laughing. Chimpanzee tracking usually takes about 3 hours. On finding them, spend an hour while taking pictures and videos before you drive back to your lodge for lunch.

Connect for a canopy walk. You will go on a walking trail that will take you to the Canopy Walk-a swing bridge 50 meters in length that is suspended from large trees; you will be able to see the amazing rainforest with a bird’s eye view, spotting wildlife moving below you. Dinner and overnight stay at provided lodge as above

Day 8: Transfer back to Kigali 

After breakfast, meet your guide and embark on your journey back to Kigali with en-route visit pass via Butare and visit the Rwanda national museum, have lunch then proceed to Kigali. Upon arrival in Kigali, you will be dropped off at a location you will advise or connect to Kigali airport for your onward flight back home.

End of the 8 Days Rwanda Primates Safari

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