Gorilla photo courtesy of &Beyond
This 9 Day Rwanda Adventure gives you an in-depth insight into Kigali’s history and culture with visits to the Memorial and Crafts Centers, up-close encounters with Gorillas in Volcanoes National Park, biking on The Congo Nile Trail, Kayaking to Amahoro Island and a thrilling Nyungwe Canopy Walk, Hike up Mt. Bigugu, the highest peak in Nyungwe, a half day trek in search of the Angola Colobus monkeys and a visit to a tea processing factory.
Gorilla Trek Itinerary – this itinerary can be customized From Day 1 – Day 4 to accommodate those with limited time, and for those who only wish to Gorilla Trek. This would give you 2 full days in Volcanoes National Park to visit with the Gorillas. (You may also wish to combine a 4 Day Gorilla Trek pre or post Safari)
Itinerary hotel photos courtesy of Akorn Destination Management
Situated in Central Kigali, 10 km from the international airport, Kigali Serena Hotel comprises of 148 air conditioned rooms in various categories: Standard, Deluxe, Superior (43), Prime (7), Junior Suites (18), Executive Suites (6) as well as a Presidential Suite. Other facilities include the elegant Milima Restaurant, the Lounge Bar offering a choice of three purpose designed areas: the bar, the lounge and the terrace, two conference rooms, 3 other meeting rooms, an executive board room, business centre, gymnasium, swimming pool, a Spa and WIFI internet access.
The history of Rwanda dates back centuries, Kigali has been a part of it for a hundred years. Founded in 1907 as a German settlement, Kigali did not become the capital until Rwanda’s independence in 1962 when it replaced the colonial seat of power in Butare. Since then, the city has seen major economic development resulting in what it is today; a vibrant African city of 1 million with wide boulevards, an international airport, world-class hotels and restaurants, crafts & curio shops as well as a lively, cosmopolitan population. Visit the Kandt Museum, tour old Kigali and the Craft centers, visit the genocide memorial site where you learn about Rwanda’s history pre-colonial to 1994 genocide as well as other genocides in the world. Tour more and see the new developments; the recovery has been incredible, a true testament to humankind’s resilience.
After a safari briefing, over lunch at a local restaurant, you drive north to Ruhengeri at the foothills of the Virungas arriving late afternoon at Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge for 1 night in time for dinner.
Situated at the foothills of the Virunga volcanoes, only minutes from the Volcanoes National Park HQ’s, the 5* Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge provides exclusive accommodation and first class service amidst extraordinary views of the Virungas and surrounding countryside making it the perfect base from which to explore this unique and fascinating corner of Africa – home of the rare Mountain Gorillas. All the 8 secluded guest cottages (5 Standards Cottages, 2 Suites and 1 Family cottage) are very spacious and private with en-suite bathtub and shower, a sitting area and fireplace for the occasional cold evening as well as a sheltered verandah. Other amenities include extensive outdoor decks and a gift shop. Built and operated by Governors’ Camps, the lodge is owned by a local Community Trust, SACOLA, which uses rentals and community fees from the lodge to drive socio-economic and conservation initiatives in the communities adjacent to the Park.
Afterwards, you trek back to base where your drivers will be waiting to take you back to the lodge for a well deserved shower and lunch.
In the afternoon, drive further to Gisenyi at the shores of Lake Kivu (approx. 1hr 30m) where you will stay at the Lake Kivu Serena Hotel for 1 night.
Here you have an opportunity to relax at the beach, swim in the lake or take part in the other available water sports. Windsurfing and Kayaking are included in the cost for hotel guests. Other options (some at extra charge) include: Adventure cat, boat-riding, swimming in the lake (at own risk), special lunches at Peace Island, hire a boat and visit the local fishing islands; or simply lie on the beach and be mesmerized. etc. In the evenings, visitors can awe at the red glow atop the Nyiragongo volcano across the border in DR Congo. It is still active!
Lake Kivu Serena Hotel is ideally located on a sandy beach, in the Rwandan resort town of Gisenyi, on the shores of Lake Kivu, the 6th largest lake in Africa. The nearby Virunga Volcanoes provide a spectacular backdrop on one side complimenting a panoramic view of the lake on the other. Accommodation comprises 66 air-conditioned rooms including 6 luxury suites, 23 family rooms and one room especially equipped for disabled guests. Other facilities include a boardroom, 3 conference rooms, a gym, outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts and a Water Sports Centre.
This evening, arrive at Comoran Lodge for 1 night.
Situated in Kibuye on the shores of Lake Kivu, Africa’s 6th largest lake, Cormoran Lodge comprises of five log cabins lined on the lake’s shores with magnificent views to the lake’s turquoise waters and the surrounding islands – from the VIP cabin, the fiery crater of the Nyiragongo volcano in DR Congo can be seen. Two of the cabins are double story making for a total of seven very comfortable guest rooms all equipped with television, wi-fi, mini fridge and bath/shower.
The very spacious main building houses the dining room, bar and restaurant as well as a games room where you can enjoy billiard, darts and cards games – the perfect place for unwinding with an afternoon coffee/tea as you watch the tide roll in, and roll away again. Activities include Kibuye town tours, guided hikes into Nyungwe Forest to the furthest source of the River Nile (the world’s longest), historical visits to two memorial churches in the town as well as water sports in the lake (at extra charge) – Canoeing, Boat rides including visits to local fishing islands and Water skiing.
NOTE: You also have an option of going for night fishing.
A true nature lovers’ paradise, Nyungwe Forest National Park’s glorious sense of expansiveness is among its most striking features. The 970 km² of rainforest, bamboo, grassland, swamps and bogs in the majestic hills of southeast Rwanda is the largest remaining ‘island’ of montage forest in East and Central Africa. It is also home to a rich variety of flora and fauna; 200 types of trees, hundreds of flowering plants, over 100 species of orchids and sensational lobelias and 13 recorded species of primates, 25% of the African primate checklist, including the acrobatic Angola colobus that move in troops of several hundred and an estimated 500 chimpanzee (often seen from the forest trails during the rainy season) as well as L’Hoest’s monkey, olive baboon, grey-cheeked mangabey and red-tailed monkey. Bird enthusiasts will not be disappointed with over 300 species including 24 Albertine Rift endemics e.g. the spectacular Ruwenzori turaco and several iridescent birds.
This afternoon, arrive at Nyungwe Forest Lodge for 3 nights. Enjoy lunch at the lodge before your thrilling adventure on the Nyungwe Canopy Walk (a 2hr walk).
The ultra-luxurious Nyungwe Forest Lodge is nestled in an expansive tea plantation on the edge of Nyungwe Forest National Park, barely 5 min off the main Nyungwe/Cyangugu road and 45 min. to the Park HQ’s. Guest accommodation consists of 20 Luxury Rooms in 5 wooden villas of 4 rooms each (3 doubles & 1 twin) and 2 Presidential Suites in separate villas; all sitting on wooden platforms raised on wooden stilts.
Relax at the lodge or visit the nearby tea plantations.
In the afternoon you have time at leisure to relax and unwind at the lodge.
After Lunch, continue to Nyanza, visiting the historical seat of the Rwanda kingdom; visit the Royal Palace which has been restored, entirely of traditional materials, to its 19th century. Then continue your drive to Kigali (approx. 7hrs) to Kigali Serena Hotel for 1 night. Dinner at a local restaurant
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