- From the shores of Lake Kivu to the gorillas that can be found in Volcano Park, see Rwanda in all its glory
- A comfortable private car with a driver who will act as a guide for the whole trip
- Meet gorillas, monkeys, chimpanzees, take a trip through the jungle canopy and kayak on the lake
- Welcome to Kigali, local Concierges and all our usual additional services
Contact one of our Rwanda specialists 020 3958 6120
Rwanda is a different corner of Africa
The tripTravelling in Rwanda is expensive. Firstly, the licence fee is steep, especially to see gorillas. Of course, great apes aside, the country is still beautiful although it's not quite the same without them. Secondly, from a logistical point of view, the pleasure of the journey depends very much on the vehicle and the guide, who is also your driver. It is not cheap, but it is necessary. We offer a complete and comfortable Rwandan experience. The hotels and lodges are conveniently located and suitably equipped. Relax, recover and eat in a nice environment. In Kigali, the hotel we will be staying at is famous for having served as a refuge during the genocide; it is the setting of the 2004 film 'Hotel Rwanda', by Terry George. This stopover allows us to appreciate that the country is starting up again. Tours and activities are with guides and rangers. Seeing chimpanzees and gorillas, kayaking on Lake Kivu or walking high in the canopy in Nyungwe is the order of the stay. The country is diverse and densely populated, so there is always something to see. If something unexpected happens along the way, guests will have the contact details of our local Concierge.
Flight to Kigali
Welcome and transfer. Overnight accommodation in Kiyovu, in a large, modern and functional hotel built by Belgian airline Sabena in 1973. The rooms are well equipped, comfortable and classic. The main restaurant offers good international cuisine and a panoramic view of Kigali. There is also an outdoor pool and pool bar.
Kigali - Nyungwe Forest
Contact the driver and then travel to Nyungwe. Spend two nights at the summit of one of the park's hills. The view of the surrounding high hills and forests is splendid. The bungalows are lined up on either side of a large lawn, it almost looks like a springboard into the jungle. The hotel's architecture and decor are a bit dated but the location is great.
The Nyungwe Forest
Included in the itinerary: Meet a troop of chimpanzees. These chimpanzees are habituated (accustomed to being around humans) but this doesn't mean they have changed their behaviour. It's quite the opposite. Chimpanzees live in complex social groups; they make tools and in many ways, their behaviour is surprisingly similar to ours. Nyungwe Forest National Park is also home to a wide variety of plant and animal species - over 200 tree species and countless flowering plants, many of which have been identified as orchids.
Nyungwe Forest - Gisenyi
Included in the itinerary: See the forest from above. The canopy bridge is over 650ft long and over 160ft tall. A ranger will accompany you on this dizzyingly high walk, which gives a completely new view of the rainforest. If we're lucky, we might spot a black and white Angola colobus or a red-tailed monkey. There's fruit and lots of insects up in the canopy, which the local bid population take full advantage of. The turaco bird which can be found in the Rwenzori Mountains is full of colour.
Head for Gisenyi on the shores of Lake Kivu. The accommodation where we will spend the night is full of rustic charm and set on the side of a grassy hill. Ten chalets with pointed roofs, all made from wood, bamboo, tiles and volcanic rocks, are hidden in the vegetation. The trees punctuate an immaculate lawn that gently tumbles down the slope from the restaurant to the beach. Inside, wood is used for the railings, exposed beams, pillars and furniture, creating a pleasant and very natural atmosphere. In the middle of the living room, there is a large fireplace for travellers to warm themselves by. On the menu are fresh ingredients that have been grown in the lodge's vegetable patch.
Gisenyi - Volcanoes National Park
Included in the itinerary - A kayaking tour on Lake Kivu with a private guide. The volcanoes in Virunga have allowed the waters of Lake Kivu to accumulate and overflow into Lake Tanganyika, via the Rusizi River. Walk closely along banks covered with tea gardens. Come across boats belonging to sardine and tilapia fishermen.
Head to the Volcano National Park and spend three nights in Musanze. The cobbled buildings, which surround the outdoor pool, have stood the test of time. By the same token, the rooms don't have any unnecessary decor, instead they have a functional elegance. The dining room looks out directly on to the volcanoes. In the lounge, settle in for some moments of relaxation. In the garden, the hammocks encourage laziness. A massage room is open to guests.
Volcanoes National Park
Included in the itinerary: Meet golden monkeys. Golden monkeys are regularly found in the volcano region and have more distinct territorial habits than gorillas; they are only found in this preservation zone. Two groups are habituated to human presence: the Kabatwa, a group of about 60 who live near the park base camp, and the Musanga, a group of about 70 who live much further away, near the Karisimbi volcano. Head out on foot with a park ranger to look for them.
Volcanoes National Park
Included in the itinerary: Meet the Virunga gorillas. You'll be transported to the area with a ranger; then walk on the trail of the gorillas (known as Gorilla beringei beringei). They're not always in the same spot. They eat a considerable amount and frequently move around to satisfy their big appetites. They aren't particularly territorial even though they have strong family bonds. The rangers still know their habits and set out to find a beautiful silverback male surrounded by his troop. The walk towards the shady bamboo forests that shelter them can be a bit steep in places, but it is worth the magnificent view and the moving encounter with our primate cousins.
Volcanoes National Park - Return flight
Drive to Kigali Airport and catch the flight home.
A la carte
A day to discover Kigali
Long overlooked and stained by its recent history, Kigali has now become one of Africa's most attractive cities. Discover the city, beginning with a visit to two memorials, Nyamata and N'tarama, about a one-hour drive from Kigali, to learn about the history of the genocide and better understand the country's contemporary issues. After lunch at The Retreat Hotel and coffee tasting at Question Coffee, where we can enjoy one of the best Rwandan coffees, the tour continues at Kimironko Market. Meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, fabrics and crafts, it's a Rwandan-style market where we can find everything. Discover the works of Rwandan creative artists by visiting the painting and sculpture exhibition at the Inema Art Centre. At the end of the day visit Nyamirambo, the Muslim quarter of Kigali and a city within a city. Popular, cosmopolitan and lively, the area is home to all sorts of restaurants and shops.
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