10 Day Rwanda: Primate Safari

This 10 Day Rwanda Primate safari will provide you with the opportunity to visit the National Museum at Butare, the ancient King´s Palace at Nyanza, chimpanzee trekking and canopy walks in the Nyungwe Forest, boat ride in the Kibuye, mountain gorilla tracking, golden monkeys in Volcanoes National Park and other primates to discover in the  jungles of Rwanda.

Nyungwe National Park lies in southwest Rwanda, partly abutting the Burundi border. It's a vast area of mountain rainforest, home to many species of chimpanzees, plus owl-faced and colobus monkeys. The Canopy Walkway, part of the Igishigishigi Trail, is a high suspension bridge with views over the valley and surrounding forests. A trail runs to the Kamiranzovu Marsh, with its birdlife, orchids and waterfall.

Tucked away in the middle of tea plantations, the biggest mountain rain forest on this side of the African continent can be a bit deceptive in its vastness if you simply catch a glimpse of it from a far. Nyungwe forest is probably the most preserved forest in Africa. Some say it is the most important site for biodiversity in Rwanda.

Volcanoes National Park is home to the amazing Mountain Gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei); golden monkeys (Cercopithecus mitis kandti), Spotted Hyena (Crocuta crocuta), buffaloes (Syncerus caffer), elephants, black-fronted duiker (Cephalophus niger), and bushbuck (Tragelaphus scriptus). The park also harbours 178 bird species including at least 29 endemics to Rwenzori Mountains and the Virungas.

The national park is a stop centre to see and interact with the critically endangered mountain gorillas. It shelters the highest number of gorillas in the Virunga Conservation area. The strategic location of the Volcanoes National Park, roughly 2 hours’ drive from Kigali International Airport, make it a great stop to trek human’s closest relatives. Besides gorillas, Volcanoes National Park is home to golden monkeys, a variety of birds, reptiles, amphibians and insects among other creatures which together make a complete Rwanda safari package.

Spanning on a 160 square kilometre area in the northern part of Rwanda, Volcanoes National Park is part of the great Virunga Volcano conservation region spanning to cover Virunga National Park Congo and Mgahinga National Park Uganda. It was initially a small area around Karisimbi, Mikeno and Visoke volcanoes that was gazetted to protect the Mountain Gorillas that were facing the threat of extinction because of poaching.

In 1967, the American zoologist Dian Fossey who had been doing research on Mountain Gorillas in the Forests of Congo fled from insecurity and established her research base at a place between Visoke and Karisimbi volcanoes that has become known as Karisoke Research Centre. She spearheaded the conservation campaign of the Mountain Gorillas and mobilised resources to fight against poaching in this area, a fight she put up until her murder in 1985. She was buried at the research centre next to the grave of her favourite gorilla called Digit.

 

Route

A KigaliB KN6, RusiziC Unnamed Road, GisenyiD kinigi, RuhengeriE KN 5 Road, Kigali

Day 1
Destination:
Kigali
Meals Included: None

 

On arrival at Kigali International Airport, you will be welcomed by our representative and transferred to your Hotel in Kigali.

 

Distance: 15km (10 min drive)

Accommodation:

 

Medium range accommodation: Chezlando /Gorilla Hotel or similar.

High accommodation: Serena Kigali or similar.

Day 2
Destination:
Kigali - Nyungwe Forest National Park
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

 

Depart for Nyungwe National park via Butare visiting enroute, the famous National Museum at Butare and the ancient King´s Palace at Nyanza. Afterward continue to Nyungwe National Park arriving for your dinner and overnight stay at your Hotel.

 

Distance: 255km (7 hours’ drive)

Accommodation:

 

Medium range accommodation: Nyungwe Top View Hotel or similar.

High accommodation: Nyungwe House or similar

Day 3
Destination:
Nyungwe Forest National Park
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

After your breakfast, go for Chimpanzee Trekking and other monkeys in the tropical rain forest. After lunch, go for the canopy walk, which sets 50 meters above the ground with a 150-meter walkway and known as the first of its kind in East Africa and third on the continent after South Africa and Ghana. These canopies walks allows visitors to see the forest from above the trees and be at eye level with birds and monkeys that inhabit the upper storeys of the forest. Later return to your hotel/lodge for dinner and overnight on Full board.

Accommodation:

 

Medium range accommodation: Nyungwe Top View Hotel or similar.

High accommodation: Nyungwe House or similar.

Day 4
Destination:
Nyungwe Forest National Park- Lake Kivu (Kibuye)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

After breakfast, you will depart for Kibuye, which lies at the eastern tip of Lake Kivu. Kibuye is often hailed as the most impressive scenic spot of the lake.  You will have lunch at the shore of the Lake Kivu and afterward take a boat trip to the island of Amahoro Napoleon’s. 

Accommodation:

 

Medium range accommodation: Moriah Hills Resort / Bethanie Centre or similar.

High accommodation: Cormoran or similar.

Day 5
Destination:
Kibuye – Gisenyi (Lake Kivu)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lucnh, Dinner

 

After your breakfast, we drive to Gisenyi, a town located at the shore of Lake Kivu.  It lies on the border between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda. Your evening will be at leisure.
 

Distance: 235km (5 hours drive)

Accommodation:

 

Medium range accommodation: Palm Garden Hotel or Paradise Malahide or similar

High accommodation: Serena Lake Kivu or similar

Day 6
Destination:
Gisenyi (Lake Kivu)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Today is for relaxation at the shore of the Lake Kivu with an optional activity as per your interest (nature walk, boat on the lake, visit of the community group).  It lies on the border between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda. Your evening will be at leisure. 

Accommodation:

 

Medium range accommodation: Palm Garden Hotel or Paradise Malahide (FB)

High accommodation: Serena Lake Kivu   (FB) 

Day 7
Destination:
Gisenyi (Lake Kivu) - Volcanoes National Park 
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

After breakfast, you will depart for Volcanoes National Park. After lunch, visit the twin lakes of Bulera & Ruhondo- These are beautiful lakes located at the base of volcano Muhabura and close to the border with Uganda. They are surrounded by steep hills with a backdrop of the Virunga volcanic mountains.  Dinner and overnight at your hotel on Full board.
 

Distance: 62km (1 hour drive)

Accommodation: 

 

Medium range accommodation: Gorilla Villa / Gorilla hotel (FB)

High range accommodation: Mountain Gorilla view lodge (FB)

Day 8
Destination:
Volcanoes National park
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

After your breakfast, you will proceed to the National Park headquarters. You will meet with the park ranger and have the park formalities explained. Then we embark on a once in a lifetime experience of tracking mountain gorillas. The trekking may be fairly strenuous; up to six hours or longer at a relatively high altitude. For your own enjoyment, physical fitness with no health complication is required. 

 

Distance: 62km (2 hour drive)

Accommodation: 

 

Medium range accommodation: Gorilla Villa / Gorilla hotel (FB)

High range accommodation: Mountain Gorilla view lodge (FB)

Day 9
Destination:
Volcanoes National park
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Today, you will proceed to the National Park headquarters for Golden Monkey tracking in the Volcanoes National Park. Later, return to your hotel to freshen up and if time allows, visit the local market and community.

Accommodation:

 

Medium range accommodation: Gorilla Villa / Gorilla hotel (FB)

High range accommodation: Mountain Gorilla view lodge (FB)

Day 10
Destination:
Volcanoes National park – Kigali - Departure
Meals Included: Breakfast

 

After breakfast transfer to Kigali, depending on your flight scheduled, proceed to Kigali International airport for your flight back

 

Distance: 115km (3 hours’ drive)


 

The tour includes: 


Airport transfers
Full board accommodation with meals mentioned    

Ground transportation in modified safari car 
English speaking Driver/Guide

Gorilla, chimpanzee, golden permits, canopy walk fees, cultural sites fees
Entrance fees to the national park and other sites on the itinerary

Local government taxes

 

The tour does not include:


International flights
Tourist insurance health insurance
Entrance visas: Rwanda 50 USD directly from Airport

Optional activities,

Personal natures and tips