6-Day Rwanda Adventures – Great Apes & Lake Kivu
Duration7 Days | 6 Nights
Tour TypePrimates & Wildlife
Overview – Lake Kivu Safari
Rwanda is a beautiful, lush green, landlocked country in the heart of Africa, known as “the land of a thousand hills”. Lake Kivu is rich in flora and fauna and has stunning natural beauty with its scenic rolling hills as far as the eyes can see. On this trip, you will visit the spectacular mountain gorillas on the slope of Virunga, chimpanzees in Nyungwe, one of the oldest continuously forested locations in the world with its spectacular scenery, and kayak on the blue waters of Lake Kivu.
- Park fees (For non-residents)
- Gorilla permits (One per person, non-resident)
- All activities (Unless labeled as optional)
- All accommodation (Unless listed as upgrade)
- A professional driver/guide
- All transportation(Unless labeled as optional)
- All Taxes/VAT
- Roundtrip airport transfer
- Meals(As specified in the day-by-day section)
- Drinks (As specified in the day-by-day section)
- International flights (From/to home)
- Additional accommodation before and at the end of the tour
- Tips (Tipping guideline US$10.00 pp per day)
- Personal items (Souvenirs, travel insurance, visa fees, etc.)
- Government imposed increase of taxes and/or park fees
- Some meals(As specified in the day-by-day section)
Day by Day Activities.
Meeting you at your hotel (or another agreed location in Central Kigali), your guide will take you on an insightful tour to see some of Kigali’s fascinating history, culture, art and markets.
We optionally finish at the Kigali Genocide Memorial, which is a very poignant and moving experience.
Stop for lunch at one of our recommended, vibrant, restaurants in the heart of Kigali that are popular with local people, but not well known to tourists. Whether we book in advance, or if your guide helps you choose on the day, you will find superb food and a fantastic Rwandan welcome!
In the afternoon, drive to Musanze where Volcanoes National Park is located. On arrival, head to the lodge where you will spend the rest of the evening. Dinner and your overnight stay are at Tiloreza Volcanoes Ecolodge.
Tiloreza is a boutique operator offering wonderful levels of comfort to visitors with a selection of cottages. There is a wonderful view of the Volcanoes from their restaurant.
On arrival, everyone will be split into groups of up to 8 people—and maybe joined by other tourists—before being allocated a ranger. You will then drive a short distance to the start of the trail, from where you will trek in the forest for around 1-3 hours or so to meet the gorillas. When you find them, the hour you spend with these incredible primates is a true lifetime experience that you will never forget. To see—and walk amongst—a family of mountain gorillas is a wildlife encounter unlike any other on Earth. You’ll be so close to the individual gorillas. Boisterous adolescents will be misbehaving whilst playful children are constantly demanding the attention of their parents as aunts and uncles wander together in an extended family group under the watchful eye of the silverback.
Once you have returned to the headquarters, head back to your hotel for a celebration lunch, followed by an afternoon transfer to Gisenyi at Lake Kivu. Your overnight stay is at Paradise Kivu.
On this morning, you will be taken by a motorboat on one of Africa’s Great Lakes. You’ll soak up the beautiful scenery that surrounds Lake Kivu and is best experienced on the water. It’s a lovely way to travel! The motorboat will take you to Cyimbili for the coffee tour. This fascinating tour of a thriving, coffee washing station brings to life the entire process of harvesting, washing, roasting, grinding and preparing some of the best coffee in Rwanda—and the world.
Coffee has literally transformed the small community of Cyimbili and created a sustainable income for numerous local families. In fact, whilst it is (sometimes) possible to buy Cyimbili coffee after the tour, the beans grown here are also included in some of the best-known coffee brands in the world
Enjoy your lunch and then onward to the short hike on Munini (Napoleon) Island. Hike to the summit of Munini, popularly known as Napoleon Island (because it’s shaped like his famous hat!) Your overnight is at Cormoran Lodge.
meet the fishermen, see local fish farms and optionally visit the hot springs.
You will have the chance to visit a nearby fishing village and you’ll also visit Munini, popularly known as Napoleon Island, for a hike to the summit viewpoint and the spectacle of a raucous bat colony. To finish this adventure, a rewarding swim in the warm, clean water from the kayaks is very refreshing!
Lunch is followed by the transfer to Nyungwe National Park. Nyungwe Forest is a high-altitude, montane tropical rainforest in southern Rwanda established as a forest reserve in 1933. The forest is located in the Albertine Rift.
Dinner and your overnight stay are at Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel.
Early this morning, you will transfer to the forest for chimpanzee tracking.
Spend an amazing hour watching a troop of wild chimpanzees in the forest! Setting off very early at 5:00 am, you will transfer to a section of Nyungwe Forest known as Cyamudongo, where most of Rwanda’s habituated chimpanzees are located. Here you’ll meet your local ranger at a small visitor centre, and then as soon as the trackers locate the family of chimpanzees—that number about 40 individuals—you’ll be off, trekking along the paths and possibly, scaling short sections of the steep rainforest slopes immersed in the forest. Listen carefully and you may hear the chimps before you see them literally swinging from the trees or possibly running around on the ground all around you!
This is a wonderful wildlife encounter! And if you’re into birds, make sure to ask your guides to point out the species that you may find on the trails, which if you’re really lucky may include the rather impressive blue turaco!
Accessible from the Uwinka Visitor Centre, a Forest Ranger will lead your walk through the forest. With an eye for some of the 310 bird species, butterflies, orchids, centuries-old trees and 75 mammals including 13 primates that live here, this walk is a spectacular journey in the largest surviving example of an Afro Montane ecosystem. It is also one of the oldest continuously forested locations on Earth. The walk includes a 200 m-long canopy walkway that takes you high above the forest floor providing a unique platform for observing the forest.
After the tour, drive back to Kigali and be dropped off at the airport. End of services.