This 12 days Rwanda safari takes you to beautiful national parks of Rwanda like Akagera where you will take part in a boat cruise on lake Ihema and a game drive as you look out for various animals including the big five animals, Nyungwe forest national park to trek chimpanzees in their natural habitats and a canopy walk in the evening to relax your minds.
This safari also includes visiting Lake Kivu which borders Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, it is having a lot of Virgin Islands to visit while on a boat trip. From Lake Kivu, you will drive to volcanoes national and visit the Iby’iwachu Cultural Village for Rwanda’s culture then the next day will be for trekking mountain gorillas and hiking to the grave of Dian Fossey. This 12 days safari ends with a city tour around Kigali – the capital city of Rwanda.
Day 1: Arrival in Kigali
Upon landing at the airport in Kigali, our company driver guide will welcome you, brief you about your 12 days Rwanda safari and drive you to the booked hotel where he will pick you up tomorrow as you are going to Akagera National Park.
Day 2: Drive to Akagera National Park and evening boat cruise
The driver guide will pick you up from the hotel in Kigali and drive you to the North Eastern part of Rwanda where this savanna Park is situated. This park is well blessed with a lot of biodiversity including unique plant and tree species, birds and wildlife, in this Park we also find many lakes. Have lunch at the lodge and head for an evening boat cruise on lake Ihema.
Lake Ihema is home to hippos, crocodiles, birdlife like cormorants, and kingfishers among others even visitor animals that come on the shores every day to quench their thirst after a long sunny day. Return to the lodge.
Day 3: Game drive and transfer to Butare city.
A game drive in Akagera is rewarding where you will be viewing the lakes, and the big five animals and some of them include; lions, leopards, elephants and buffaloes, warthogs, antelope species, and zebras to mention but a few. Retreat to the lodge for lunch. In the evening transfer to Butare to explore the beauty there.
Day 4: Butare to Nyungwe forest
While in Butare, explore places like a national museum that displays cultural and religious background of Rwanda, visit the National University of Rwanda and know about the educational background of Rwanda also visit the King’s Palace.
Return to the lodge for lunch then drive to Nyungwe forest national park home to primates including our cousins – chimpanzees.
Day 5: Chimpanzee trekking and canopy walk
Chimpanzee trekking starts from the lodge with breakfast then you will head to the park offices for a briefing and after you will be led to the forest to look for these endangered primates. Your search for these chimpanzees will not bore you as you will enjoy looking at other primates like blue monkeys, red colobus monkeys and several other species of primates since the park has a good number of them.
When your eyes come into contact with those of the chimpanzees, you will be given one hour to watch them play, feed, and groom each other as you also take photos. After the chimpanzee trekking, move back to the lodge for lunch and head for a canopy walk. You will be stunned with great views of various species of birds, primates on the tree top feeding, the view of the twin lakes and the Park as well. Retire to the lodge for dinner.
Day 6: Transfer from Nyungwe National Park to Lake Kivu.
With breakfast in the morning, you will drive to Gisenyi town near Lake Kivu the freshwater lake in Rwanda along the border of Rwanda and DR Congo. Along the way to Lake Kivu, you will view a lot of beautiful nature like the thousands of hills where Rwanda got its name. Arrive at the booked lodge and have your lunch and relax in the evening as you enjoy the fresh air from Lake Kivu.
Day 7: Full-day exploration of Lake Kivu.
After breakfast in the morning, spend the whole day exploring the islands on lake Kivu on a boat cruise like Idjwi which is said to be the tenth largest Island in the whole world, Nyamirundi island and while there, you can do your coffee experience. Other activities to enjoy; are swimming in the fresh waters of the lake, sport fishing, sunbathing in the morning and evening, kayaking and enjoying the breathtaking scenery.
Day 8: Travel to Volcanoes National Park. Ibyiwacu village tour.
Leave the lodge to Volcanoes National Park immediately after taking your breakfast and it will be a short drive to this park, which us home to the mountain gorillas. Check in at the lodge for lunch and in the evening head to Iby’iwachu Community for a cultural encounter. Encounter the unique cultures of Rwanda and learn how they live in their communities. Return to the lodge for dinner.
Day 9: Gorilla trekking
Wake up as an early bird, be served breakfast at the lodge then your driver guide will transfer you to the headquarters of the park where the briefing is done from. During the briefing, you are going to be told about the dos and don’ts during trekking there after you are going you will be led to the jungle to search for mountain gorillas.
This wonderful experience is sometimes for those people who are patient and physically fit because it involves walking for long distances through the valleys and hills in search of the gorillas. The time taken searching for them is from 1- 7 hours and of which most of the time is spent searching for them in the forest.
When you find the allocated gorilla group for you to trek, one hour will be given to you to watch them play, and feed and the mothers look after their young ones. Move back to the lodge for dinner.
Day 10: Hike Dian Fossey’s grave and visit Karisoke Research Centre
After breakfast in the morning, you will head for a hike to Dian Fossey grave, a conservationist from America who was carrying out her research about mountain gorillas from Volcanoes National Park. This lady is well remembered for contributing much to the remaining population of mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park and the world as well.
Hike to the grave of Dian Fossey, you will also visit the Karisoke research centre which is between Bisoke and Karisimbi volcanoes. It was also established by the fallen conservationist during her research but is now one of the best research centers in Rwanda. Return to the lodge for dinner and night stay.
Day 11: Drive back to Kigali and city tour
Have your breakfast then check out from the lodge and drive out of volcanoes national Park to Kigali it will only take you 2-3hours to reach the city. Upon your arrival at the hotel in Kigali, you will be served refreshments then head for a city tour.
On the city tour, visit the Gisozi Genocide Memorial Site where you will be able to watch the video clips and have a look at the photos of genocide that happened in 1994 and also listen to the sad stories of genocide. Visit the Kimironko Market and art centers to look at the handmade crafts of Rwanda and don’t forget to buy one for yourself. Return to the hotel.
Day 12: Departure
On this last day of your 12 days Rwanda safari, wake up and have breakfast. The driver guide will drop you at the airport for exit flight back home.
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