The Rwanda safari highlights by air: A 9 day/8 nights trip taking you around Rwanda by Air and in some areas interrupted with scenic road drives. You will start with an amazing road drive from Kigali to Nyungwe Forest. Nyungwe is home to the chimpanzees, black and white colobus monkeys, and many other primate species. The evergreen forest is also known for the amazing Bird species and some of the oldest African trees.  You will take a scenic flight from Nyungwe to Akagera, flying at a low altitude and enjoy the countryside dotted with Mountains, Lakes, forest cover, and beautiful cities. Akagera National Park offers some of the best interaction with the big five on earth, enjoy a boat cruise and animal research experiences.

 The last part of your trip takes you Volcanoes National Park as you fly over the towering volcanoes of Rwanda. You will have an amazing time with the endangered mountain gorillas, Golden monkeys and pay homage to well-known primatologist Dian Fossey.

Safari highlights.

Day 1: Day 1: Arrive via Kigali international airport – Overnight in Kigali.

Day 2: Kigali Genocide Memorial Site, drive to Nyungwe Forest National Park.

Day 3: Chimpanzee tracking – Afternoon Black and White Colobus monkey walk.  – Nyungwe Forest National Park

Day 4: Nyungwe canopy walk – Fly to Akagera National Park.

Day 5: Game Drive and Afternoon boat ride – Akagera.

Day 6: Helicopter flight from Akagera to Volcanoes National Park – Afternoon cultural experience.

Day 7: Gorilla trekking adventure – community walk in the afternoon.

Day 8: Morning Golden Monkey trek- optional visit to the Ellen DeGeneres Center.

Day 9: Volcanoes National Park – Kigali – Return flight.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Kigali, Rwanda

Welcome to Rwanda! Adventure Consults Airport representatives will meet and assist you through customs. Collect the luggage and meet your personal/private guide for a transfer to the hotel.

Depending on arrival time, you may have a detailed briefing on your safari today/tonight or tomorrow before starting the safari.

Overnight accommodation is included on Bed & Breakfast basis.

Most hotels are about 25 minutes’ drive from the airport.
Inclusions: Bed & Breakfasts basis.
Exclusions: All meals and drinks.

Day 2: Kigali City tour – Drive to Nyungwe Forest National Park. Approx. 6 hours’ drive.

Meet your driver at the lobby for a briefing on your safari.

Available option for Kigali city tour before heading out to Nyungwe Forest National Park.

A trip to Rwanda would be incomplete without a visit to the Kigali Genocide Memorial! The memorial is a center of education, and peacebuilding and honors the memory of more than one million Rwandans who were killed in 1994. The three permanent exhibitions and burial gardens form part of a meaningful tribute to those who perished and provide a powerful educational tool for all.

The exhibition is shocking, provoking and attempts to piece together the causes and events of the three-month genocide which destroyed Rwanda in 1994.  Thousands of first-hand accounts are documented, and personal film footage and photography are showcased, illustrating the collection of events in a simple and striking way. No doubt, 99.9% of the Rwandan population were affected by the horrific violence of the genocide, a dark past that makes the present friendliness and goodwill of the country’s locals more inspiring.

Have a cup of coffee and start for Nyungwe Forest National Park. Lunch en-route, and with stops at places of interest proceed to the lodge arriving late afternoon.

Nyungwe is a verdant 1000-square-kilometer Park in Southwestern Rwanda with over 80 mammal species, of which 12 are species of primates (that include chimpanzees-our closest relatives in the animal Kingdom). The journey to Nyungwe Forest National Park lasts about 6 hours, filled with endless views of the countryside and when you get there, check-in and relax for the rest of the evening.

Meals and Overnight at the lodge/Hotel.
Inclusions: All Meals (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner).
Some lodges/hotels include all drinks (but excludes premium drinks), and others do not.

Day 3: Chimpanzee trekking – Nyungwe Forest National Park

After breakfast, transfer to the Visitor Center for briefing, then head out to the forest and start the adventurous walk.  The chimp trek takes about 2-3 hours and provides an opportunity of spotting other unique species of plants as well as primates such as L’Hoests monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, Angolan Colobus monkeys, lots of birds and orchids that call this forest home.

After lunch, you have an option to make your afternoon more exciting by trekking Black and white colobus monkeys. There’s nowhere on earth you can ever have an encounter with such a big troop of monkeys like in Nyungwe. The afternoon walk begins at 3pm and after finding the monkeys, you will spend an hour with them.

Meals and Overnight at the lodge/Hotel.
Inclusions: All Meals (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner).
Some lodges/hotels include all drinks (but excludes premium drinks), and others do not.

Day 4: Canopy walk; Helicopter flight from Nyungwe to Akagera National Park

This morning, you have an option to go for a canopy walk. This offers the real sense of the scale of Nyungwe and is East Africa’s highest canopy walk with a metal bridge suspended 50 meters above the forest. It’s not for the vertiginous but the views of Nyungwe sprawled out below are unforgettable and breathtaking.

 The 160m long and 50m high suspension bridge is accessible as part of a guided tour along the Igishigishigi trail. Along the hour’s walk to the canopy walkway from the Uwinka Reception Centre, you will spot countless butterflies, orchids and colorful birds, including those that are endemic to the Albertine Rift Valley. During the canopy walk, you will have encounters with colorful primates and Birds.

Midmorning transfer to the airstrip in time for your flight to Akagera National Park. The scenic Helicopter flight is breathtaking as you fly at a low altitude with best views of the verdant rainforest, that gradually changes to savannah plains, woodlands, wetlands, and Lakes as you head towards Akagera National Park. The scenic flight takes about 1 hour and 10 minutes.

The only Savannah Park in Rwanda is on the furthest Eastern border of the country, where the typically hilly countryside gives way to the savannas of the Great Rift Valley. Dominated by savannah grassland, woodland, Lakes, forest, swamps and marshland, the area boasts a huge compliment of nature and wildlife that cannot be found elsewhere in the country. The Protected Area is a unique natural habitat and home to big game such as Lions, Hippos, Masai giraffes, African bush elephants, Zebras, Buffaloes, Common elands, Topis, as well as lots of primates and a plethora of Bird species.

After lunch, relax at the lodge and later go for an afternoon game drive.  In the evening, you have an option for a sundowner while taking in panoramic views across the scattered grasslands.

Meals and Overnight at the lodge/Hotel.
Inclusions: All Meals (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner).
Some lodges/hotels include all drinks (but excludes premium drinks), and others do not.

Day 5: Game Drive and Afternoon boat ride (Akagera National Park)

Our private game drive excursion will take you to an exploration of the park’s plains, hills and end towards the lake side. You will be rewarded with lots of game, Birds, and amazing scenery.

Lunch at the lodge.  Afternoon is scheduled for a 3pm private boat ride along the shores of Lake Ihema. Rwanda’s second largest lake offers opportunities for wildlife viewing at very close range. The motorized luxury small boats get close to the lake shores for the best Birding experiences.

While on a boat trip in Akagera National Park, both small and big animals come close to you as they bask by shores, drink and cool off. The best way to get close to the Nile crocodiles and large pods of hippos is by taking a boat ride on Lake Ihema.

Meals and Overnight at the lodge/Hotel.
Inclusions: All Meals (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner).
Some lodges/hotels include all drinks (but excludes premium drinks), and others do not.

Day 6: Helicopter flight (Akagera to Volcanoes National Park)

Morning transfer to the airstrip in time for our flight to Volcanoes National Park. The flight will take about 45-50 minutes. Keep an eye out for riveting views of the Virunga Volcanoes that tower up with views of the great, old volcanoes towering up almost 15,000 feet, and nearly covered with rich, green rainforest.

Meet your private guide at the airstrip and transfer to the lodge, arriving in time for lunch.

In the afternoon, you have an option to simply relax at the lodge or go for a visit of the Gorilla Guardian’s Village that borders Volcanoes National Park. This site was set up as “Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village to offer a new lease on life for ex-poachers. Your visit, therefore, not only offers an insight into the culture of the people but also provides an opportunity of giving back to the community.

At Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village, you will get the chance to become a King for a day, watch and participate in the preparation of herbal medicine, learn how to use a bow and arrow, take part in the preparation of local dishes, banana brewing, making of handcrafts, and so much more.

Meals and Overnight at the lodge/Hotel.
Inclusions: All Meals (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner).
Some lodges/hotels include all drinks (but excludes premium drinks), and others do not.

Day 7: Gorilla trekking adventure – community walk in the afternoon.

An early breakfast, and head out to the park headquarters in time for briefing. Depending on choice of accommodation, departure time varies.

Gorilla trekking takes 3-6 hours. Adventure Consults’ guide will ensure you have a packed lunch, snacks and enough drinking water.

Volcanoes National Park is one of the unmissable places to achieve your dream of getting up close and personal with the mountain gorillas. This morning’s adventure involves visiting one of the many habituated Gorilla groups within the Northwestern side of Rwanda.

You will then enter the forest and start the search for Gorillas. Once you find them, you are allowed have one-hour of interaction as you watch them play, groom, relax, feed and make calls.

After an hour with the Gorillas, slope back to the base and transfer to the lodge for a warm lunch.

A relaxed afternoon or take a guided village walk.

Meals and Overnight at the lodge/Hotel.
Inclusions: All Meals (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner).
Some lodges/hotels include all drinks (but excludes premium drinks), and others do not.

Day 8: Golden Monkey trek- optional visit to the Ellen DeGeneres Center of Dian Fossey.

Morning transfer to Kinigi park headquarters in time for briefing then proceed to the forest in search for the frisky Golden Monkeys.

The activity is done once a day and starts early in the morning just like Gorilla tracking. While searching for Golden monkeys, you will have an encounter with a variety of flora and fauna. You will spend one hour observing and photographing the frisky, photogenic primates – Golden Monkeys. They were named after the golden-brown fur and are known for their playful nature.

After lunch, you have an option to go for a visit to Dian Fossey conservation center/ Ellen DeGeneres Center for a guided tour/visit.

Ellen DeGeneres Center visiting costs are not usually included in the safari package, so would be on payment of supplement. All activities require reservations, so let the sales team know in advance for proper arrangements and related costs.

Self guided tours: You take a walk through the Conservation Gallery which has interactive games, fun quizzes and a 360-degree theatre. You are free to take a walk through the Ellen DeGeneres Campus grounds and explore the gorilla, biodiversity and wetlands trails.

Behind the scenes tour: In addition to activities listed in self-guided tours, here you get an opportunity to interact with a senior staff member of the research Center. You have a privilege to ask any questions. You will get to visit some of the labs to learn more about the research work and also see the work done by students.

Silverback Sundowner: Enjoy the serenity of Ellen DeGeneres Campus after official working hours. This exclusive experience is offered from 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm. You will enjoy drinks and canapés at the Virunga Lounge with a backdrop of all the 5 volcanoes. You also get to interact with the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund senior staff members, ask any questions about conservation work, Gorillas and people souring the Gorilla parks. This activity is best done on a day/evening when the night is to be spent at any of the lodges in Musanze (not returning to Kigali).

Meals and Overnight at the lodge/Hotel.
Inclusions: All Meals (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner).
Some lodges/hotels include all drinks (but excludes premium drinks), and others do not.

Day 9: Volcanoes National Park – Kigali (optional city tour) – Return flight.

A relaxed morning and later start for Kigali.  Depending on your return flight schedule, you may need a day room in Kigali (on payment of supplement), and later transfer to the airport in time for your international return flight.

Check-in for international flights out of Kigali international airport is normally 3 hours in advance. Ensure your flight is anytime later but not earlier than 1300 hours.

Recommended Accommodation Options

Rwanda has got a variety of accommodation categories that provide visitors different choices depending on personal interest and budget. Being a Holiday, Adventure Consults never dictates where one should stay hence always left to be an individual’s preferred choice. Here are some of the recommended options.

 Accommodation in Kigali City; Kigali has got a variety of hotels to cater for large groups, small boutique hotels with limited rooms and commercial hotels ranging from high end, midrange to budget. Kigali hotels are all on Bed & Breakfast basis.

  • The Retreat by Heaven.
  • Kigali Serena Hotel.
  • Hotel des Mille Collines.
  • Kigali Marriott Hotel.
  • Four Points by Sheraton.
  • Radisson Blu Hotel & Convention Center.

Accommodation in Nyungwe National Park: Nyungwe has got limited accommodation options. They are all outside the park, with amazing rainforest views, private outdoor decks or terraces & more. They all include Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. Standards and extra inclusions differ.

  • One & Only Nyungwe House
  • Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel

Accommodation in Akagera National Park: We have carefully chosen accommodation options ranging from high-end, midrange and budget. They all include Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. Standard and extra inclusions differ depending on category chosen.

  • Magashi Luxury Camp
  • Akagera Safari Camp
  • Karenge Bush Camp
  • Mantis Akagera Game Lodge
  • Ruzizi Tented Lodge

Accommodation in Volcanoes National Park: There are many lodging/accommodation facilities in and around this Gorilla Park. The choice entirely depends on budget and personal tastes. We can’t list them all here, but below are some of the options.

  • One & Only Gorilla’s Nest
  • Virunga Lodge
  • Bisate Lodge
  • Singita Kwitonda Lodge
  • Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge
  • Amakoro Songa Lodge
  • Bishop’s House
  • Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel
  • Mountain Gorilla View Lodge.