Around rwanda

Land of a Thousand Hills – In 12 days

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May 24 – June 4, 2022
June 28 – July 9, 2022
August 2 – August 13, 2022
November 29 – December 10, 2022

Be inspired by the beautiful and resilient people of Rwanda while discovering their peaceful and prosperous home. Renowned as clean, safe and amazingly friendly, Rwanda – a small country in the heart of Africa – is a wonderful place to visit! From discovering hidden gems in the City of Kigali to spotting wildlife in Akagera National Park and more thrills in between, this unique trip, which includes primate tracking and hiking options in Nyungwe rainforest and Volcanoes National Park, has something for everybody!

History, culture, adventure and lots of fun await you! Read on…

Price

Coming soon

Highlights

  • Many meals and activities ranging from leisurely to difficult are à la carte to suit your taste
  • Join a delightful family for a home-made traditional lunch 
  • Encounters with gorillas, chimpanzees, lions, elephants, giraffes, birds and lots of other animals
  • Dazzling landscapes, including lakes, volcanic mountains and tropical flowers

Meet your tour leader

Hello everyone! My name is Lillian, and I look forward to meeting and welcoming you to my beloved Rwanda. After several years of travel to this land – for both humanitarian and tourism purposes – I invite you to join me on this fascinating and unusual trip!

Itinerary

Arrive at the Kigali International Airport and obtain a 30-day single-entry tourist visa from an immigration official. When you exit the airport, a tour representative will be waiting to transfer you to the hotel. Approximate driving time: 20 minutes

Accommodation: Heaven Boutique Hotel (The Residence)

Meals included: None

Meet and greet your fellow travellers over breakfast. Your tour leader will also provide a brief trip overview and respond to any questions you may have. Then, all aboard for the city tour!

Kigali City Tour: A Must-Do in the Country’s Capital for Culture, History and Fun
Kick off your trip to Rwanda by exploring this bustling, colourful and fast-growing metropolis! Stops include Mount Kigali for views of the city and countryside, a milk bar to discover that sharing milk is a sign of friendship, a neighbourhood market, a mural walk, a delicious Rwandan lunch and the best coffee in town! The tour concludes with a poignant visit to the Genocide Memorial (highly recommended). Departure time: 9:30 a.m.

Accommodation: Heaven Boutique Hotel (The Residence)

Meals included: Breakfast and lunch

Before reaching Nyungwe Forest National Park, one of Africa’s oldest mountainous rainforests, we will stop at Huye Mountain Coffee for a one-hour walking tour to experience every step of the coffee production process – from crop to cup – at this spectacularly located plantation. Approximate driving time: 5 hours

Accommodation: Top View Hill Hotel (located in the park)

Meals included: Breakfast and packed lunch

After breakfast, here are your three optional activities to enjoy the park:

  • Igishigishigi Trail/Canopy Walkway – 10:00 a.m. Hike (Easy)
    Take a walk on the wild side! This trail, with countless butterflies, orchids and colourful birds, as well as the chance of encountering primates, leads to a suspended metallic walkway (160m long and 70m high) for some stunning views of this simply magnificent rainforest.
    (2.1 km/2 hours)
    Departure time: 8:30 a.m.
    Cost: $60.00 USD

  • Isumo (Waterfall) Trail – 9:00 a.m. Hike (Moderate)
    This superb trail combines steep slopes and flat winding paths through fern-covered ravines and crosses several streams before reaching a sharp descent to the base of a small waterfall. A variety of monkeys and birds are often seen along the way.
    (7.6 km/3 hours)
    Departure time: 8:30 a.m.
    Cost: $50.00 USD

    OR

  • Leisure Time
    Enjoy the hotel facilities and the stunning panoramic views of the forest and Lake Kivu while sipping a cup – or two – of fresh local tea! And why not consider a stroll to admire the lush greenery of the surrounding tea plantations?

Your afternoon activities include:

  • Gisakura Tea Factory (One-Hour Tour)
    From the weighing and drying of the leaves to their grading and preparation for sale, get fascinating insight into the production of tea – one of Rwanda’s biggest exports!

    AND

  • Leisure Time
    It never gets old! Kick back and gaze at the breathtaking scenery from the hilltop setting of the hotel.

Accommodation: Top View Hill Hotel (located in the park)

Meal included: Breakfast

This morning, here are your three optional activities to enjoy the park for one last time:

  • Primate Excursion – 7:00 a.m. Hike (Easy)
    This short walk from the hotel to a patch of forest in the Gisakura Tea Estate will reward you with the chance to locate and photograph a troop of Ruwenzori colobus monkeys, distinguished by their contrasting black coats and white fluffy cheeks, and to spot a rich array of birds. Departure time: 6:30 a.m.
    Cost: $60.00 USD

  • Chimpanzee Trek (Moderate/Difficult)
    “Go ape” over chimps! Track through thick vegetation to hear the calls of our closest genetic relatives and see them swing from tree to tree during a memorable hour in their presence. Departure time: 4:30 a.m.
    Cost: $90.00 USD

    OR

  • Leisure Time
    Last chance before checking out of the hotel to enjoy a cup of java while admiring the wondrous landscape from the balcony of your chalet!

As we leave the rainforest behind, get ready to decompress in lakeside Karongi, one of the most scenic towns in Rwanda! Approximate driving time: 2.5 hours

Your afternoon activities include:

  • Unwind at the Resort
    Swim, walk along the lakeshore or hike the nearby nature trail – or simply sit and stare in awe!

    AND

  • Sunset Boat Ride around Nearby Islands (5:00 to 6:00 p.m.)
    This is the perfect time to see and hear local fishermen chanting while paddling their traditional dugout boats – a not-to-be-missed spectacle!

Accommodation: Moriah Hill Resort

Meal included: Breakfast

This morning’s scenic drive leads to Rubavu, an attractive town located along the shores of Lake Kivu, for a rare lunch treat! Approximate driving time: 2.5 hours

A lovely family will welcome us into their home and host a traditional meal, including the best beans in town, for genuine insight into local life. A truly unique cultural experience!

After lunch, a member of the local family will join us for a lakeside stroll as we digest such a hearty feast! Then, a short drive to Rubona, where the guesthouse is an ideal spot to enjoy happy hour while watching the sunset and local fishermen go by. Fresh tilapia for dinner, anyone?

Let’s gather around the bonfire to end a great day!

Accommodation: Paradise Malahide Guesthouse

Meals included: Breakfast and lunch

After a relaxing start to the morning, today’s transfer to Volcanoes National Park – home of endangered mountain gorillas – includes a one-hour visit at the Dian Fossey Museum to learn about gorillas and their habitat as well as the importance of conservation efforts. Approximate driving time: 1.5 hours

Your afternoon activities include:

  • Kinigi Village Walk
    Step out with an engaging member of the lodge for an afternoon wander to admire the volcanic mountains and to visit the craft centre and a local school.

    AND

  • Leisure time to simply enjoy the grounds of the lodge.

Before dinner, how about connecting in the garden for sundowners to chat about tomorrow’s fun?

Accommodation: Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

After breakfast, here are your five optional activities to enjoy the park:

  • Golden Monkey Tracking (Easy/Moderate)
    Seeing these bright-coloured creatures in the bamboo forest is a real delight! Views can be fantastic, both in the forest and while hiking along the eucalyptus-lined nature trail where some – as an added bonus – may be spotted raiding potatoes from a local crop! Visits last for one hour.
    Departure time: 6:30 a.m.
    Cost: $100.00 USD

  • Gorilla Tracking (Moderate/Difficult)
    Leave with no regrets! Standing feet away from enormous silverbacks, nurturing mothers and chest-beating youngsters is one of life’s most exhilarating moments. Believe me, a magical hour with these gentle giants is an experience unlike any other!
    Departure time: 6:30 a.m.
    Cost: $1,500.00 USD

  • Dian Fossey’s Grave (Moderate/Difficult)
    This popular hike leads to Dian Fossey’s former Karisoke Research Camp, the location of her tomb and the adjacent cemetery of her much-loved gorillas. While her old living quarters are now in ruins and other areas of the camp are now marked only by signposts, her legacy will never be forgotten!
    Departure time: 6:30 a.m.
    Cost: $75.00 USD

  • Mount Bisoke/Crater Lake (Difficult)
    This demanding hike to the rim – famous for the beautiful crater lake that can be seen on a clear day – may just be your thing! Along the trek, the scenic backdrop of hagenia and lobelia trees is fantastic! Equally impressive are the fields of daisies which – as a note of interest – are used by locals to make natural insecticide.
    Departure time: 6:30 a.m.
    Cost: $75.00 USD

    OR

  • Leisure time to enjoy the lodge and the surrounding area.

This afternoon, let’s reunite for photos and stories about your morning adventures and a dramatic performance by traditional Intore dancers. You will be wowed!

Accommodation: Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Today’s road trip leads to Akagera National Park. With its many lakes, mountains and ever-changing vegetation, it is truly one of the most scenic savannah reserves in Africa! Approximate driving time: 5 hours

This afternoon’s activities include:

  • Leisure time to enjoy the lodge and pool and to admire the spectacular views of Lake Ihema and the neighbouring countryside of Tanzania.


    AND

  • Sunset Boat Trip on Lake Ihema (4:30 to 5:30 p.m.)
    A chance to see crocodiles, pods of hippos and an abundance of birds, such as weavers (known for building intricate nests), fish eagles and storks – all while enjoying the day’s end!

Accommodation: Akagera Game Lodge (located in the park)

Meals included: Breakfast and packed lunch

After an early breakfast, get set for an exciting full-day game drive to the northern section of the park! Approximate driving time: 6 hours

All eyes will be scanning for the BIG 5 – lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos and buffalo – as well as giraffes snacking on acacia leaves, zebras, hippos, a variety of antelopes, warthogs, baboons and several species of birds, including gorgeous lilac breasted rollers and crowned cranes. Lunch will be in a picnic area where we may be joined by some long-necked friends!

Accommodation: Karenge Bush Camp (located in the park)

Meals included: Breakfast, packed lunch and dinner

Last chance to capture your perfect wildlife photo! After breakfast, a morning game drive awaits to spot more animals in the northern plains of the park before returning to Kigali. Approximate driving time: 5.5 hours

After some rest, get ready for an evening out on the town! At our farewell dinner, a special guest will join us to share the inspiring story of how his work in healing and reconciliation is fostering hope for humanity and the future of Rwanda.

Accommodation: Heaven Boutique Hotel (The Residence)

Meals included: Breakfast, packed lunch and dinner

Depending on your flight departure time, you may have a chance to do some last-minute shopping, have lunch and relax before your transfer to the airport. Approximate driving time: 20 minutes

Meal included: Breakfast

Inclusions

  • Transfers from/to the airport on days 1 and 12

  • Transportation (4×4 safari vehicle with pop-up roof and minibus)

  • Water and sodas in the vehicles

  • Accommodation

  • Meals and activities as outlined in the itinerary

  • Tour leader, drivers, guides and trackers

  • Park entrance fees

  • Emergency evacuation insurance

  • Information on COVID-19 requirements

Exclusions

  • Travel insurance (medical and trip cancellation)
  • International flights from/to your home country
  • Baggage fees
  • Accommodation before and after the tour, including any upgrades
  • Tours and transfers not specified in the itinerary
  • COVID-19 tests, if required
  • Visa fee, if required
  • Passport fee
  • Cost of optional activities as outlined in the itinerary
  • Memorial/museum contributions
  • Memorial filming/photography fee
  • Personal expenses (laundry, souvenirs, etc.)
  • Meals not specified in the itinerary and most drinks
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Hiking porters
  • Tips (tour leader, drivers, guides, trackers and restaurant)

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