8 Days Rwanda Classic Wildlife and Cultural Tour

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Safari Overview

Explore the best of Rwanda on this 8 days Rwanda Classic Wildlife and Cultural tour: enjoy this African adventure as you appreciate cultural diversities, have once-in-a-lifetime experiences with Rwanda’s mountain gorillas, immerse yourself in game-viewing safaris, and trek dense forests in search for chimpanzees, among others. Our 8 days Rwanda Classic Wildlife and Cultural tour will take you through the best of Rwanda’s safari locations; from the country’s vibrant and clean city to its enthralling National Parks and cultural villages. This 8-day Rwanda Classic Wildlife and Cultural Tour will start and end in Kigali.

Tour Highlights

  • Kigali City tour
  • Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest NP
  • Gorilla Trekking in the Volcanoes NP
  • Bugesera Reconciliation Village
  • Cultural Visits
  • Canopy Walk
  • Game drive in Akagera NP
  • Boat cruise in Akagera NP

Safari Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival at Kigali International Airport

On arrival at Kigali International Airport, our company representative/safari guide will meet you and transfer you to your hotel in Kigali City. Check into your hotel, relax, and get ready to embark on your 8 days Rwanda Classic Wildlife and Cultural Tour.

Day 2: Full-day Kigali City Tour

After your breakfast, you will be taken on a full-day Kigali city tour; a tour experience that will take you through several historical and cultural sites as well as local markets, among others. You will visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial site and the Kandt Museum for an eye-opening experience about the historical and cultural background of Rwanda including the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. Have lunch and in the afternoon, transfer to Bugesera Reconciliation Village for yet another exciting cultural experience. Thereafter, return to your hotel for an overnight stay.

Day 3: Transfer to Akagera National Park – Boat Tour

Have breakfast at your hotel and depart for Akagera National Park which is about 3 hours drive from Kigali. Enjoy the scenic journey and on arrival, check into your lodge and relax. Later have lunch and then head for an afternoon boat cruise on the park’s Lake Ihema. Akagera National Park is Rwanda’s only wildlife park, home to various wild animals including the African Big Five, and many bird species. Enjoy the scenic boat cruise with views of the park’s game including hippos, elephants, buffaloes, antelopes, zebras, giraffes, and so many birds including hornbills, Fish eagles, etc. Return to your lodge after for an overnight stay.

Day 4: Morning Game Drive

After an early breakfast, head for the morning game drive to explore the wildlife of this amazing savannah park. Akagera National Park is home to a variety of wild animals, many of which are not found anywhere else in the country. On your game drive, expect to find wildlife at its finest with encounters of the recently introduced lions, leopards, spotted hyenas, elephants, giraffes, bushbucks, waterbucks, zebras, and rhinos as well as hundreds of bird species. After about 3 to 4 hours of game viewing, return to your lodge and have a relaxing time.  

Day 5: Transfer to Nyungwe Forest National Park

Wake up early and have breakfast, after which you will transfer to Nyungwe Forest National Park. En route to Nyungwe, you will have a brief stopover in Butare, Rwanda’s second-largest city: Butare is also home to the Rwanda National Museum – the best Ethnographic Museum in East Africa. While here, learn about the authentic cultural history of Rwanda, as well as the entire region; and exciting cultural performances from the Intore dancers. Lunch will be in Butare, and after you will proceed with your journey to Nyungwe.

On arrival in the park, you will be transferred to your lodge and retire from the day’s journey. Overnight stay in Nyungwe Forest National Park.

Day 6: Chimpanzee Trekking and Canopy Walk in Nyungwe

Today, wake up early and have breakfast: by 08:00 am, you should be at the Uwinka Park Headquarters to begin your chimpanzee trekking tour which starts with a briefing from the rangers. Nyungwe Forest National Park is well-known for Rwanda chimpanzee trekking safaris. It is also home to 12 other primate species, as well as a plethora of wild animals and birds. During the briefing, you will be enlightened about the chimps of Nyungwe, habituated chimp groups, and the guidelines for chimpanzee trekking. You will also be distributed into groups and assigned a chimpanzee group trek.

After the briefing, you will depart into Africa’s largest Afro-montane Forest in search of man’s close relatives. Enjoy sights of other creatures like monkeys, wild chimpanzees, and birds. When you finally come across your habituated chimp group, you will have an hour to observe and learn about their habits and way of life in their natural environment.  The guides and rangers will be glad to answer any questions you might have about these cheeky primates.  After the chimpanzee trekking, return to your lodge and have lunch.

Relax at your lodge and head for a canopy walk that departs from the park’s Banda Cultural Village later in the evening. Nyungwe forest is a haven for hikers. You will enjoy trekking through the rugged and steep terrain of dense but beautiful vegetation. Plenty of sights including unique flora, a variety of primates, mammals, birds, butterflies, and moths to mention but a few. Overnight stay will be at your lodge.

Day 7: Transfer to the Volcanoes National Park – Cultural Village Visit

Today after breakfast, bid Nyungwe farewell as you depart for the Volcanoes National Park which will take about four and a half hours to get. On arrival, transfer to your lodge, check-in, and have lunch. Relax at your lodge while taking in the gorgeous scenery of the Volcanoes National Park – Rwanda’s popular home of mountain gorillas.

In the evening, take a walk to the Iby’iwacu Cultural Village and see how these former poachers live. While there, have a village tour and interact with the locals, have a taste of their indigenous culture with a pack of traditional activities. After a few hours of cultural immersion, return to your lodge and have dinner. Overnight stay at your lodge.

Day 8: Gorilla Trekking – Return to Kigali

You will conclude your 8 days Rwanda Classic Wildlife and Cultural Tour with a gorilla trekking experience; on this day, have breakfast and head to Kiningi Park headquarters for a briefing by the park rangers. You will also be allocated a gorilla family to trek in groups of 8 and after the briefing, you will be led by an armed ranger and a guide to search for the mountain gorillas. Located in the Virunga massif of Rwanda, the Volcanoes National Park is home to the last remaining population of mountain gorillas. The park has 10 habituated gorilla groups open for tourism but it is also home to other creatures including golden monkeys, African buffalo, spotted hyenas, and a variety of bird species, which you will encounter during your search for gorillas.

Upon meeting the gorillas, you will have an hour to spend in their company. Observe their way of life as they feed and go on about their day. Take pictures and record videos before trekking back to the park headquarters. Return to your lodge after and have lunch. After lunch, check out of your lodge and drive back to Kigali City, upon which you will proceed to the airport for your flight back home. This marks the end of your 8 days Rwanda Classic Wildlife and Cultural Tour

Guidelines for Trekking Chimpanzees and Gorillas

  • One must have a permit to trek chimpanzees or mountain gorillas in Rwanda.
  • To trek mountain gorillas, one must be 15 years old and above and to trek chimpanzees, one must be at least 12 years and above.
  • During trekking, tourists are advised to adhere to the guide’s instructions
  • Smoking, drinking, and eating near the gorillas and chimpanzees is prohibited.
  • If you are feeling sick, you should not trek chimpanzees or gorillas, because these primates are very vulnerable to human diseases.
  • While in the presence of gorillas and chimpanzees, maintain a safe distance of about 7 meters to avoid making them feel like they are surrounded.
  • Maintain a low tone while in the presence of mountain gorillas and avoid unnecessary movements.
  • Always stay in your allocated groups to avoid getting lost in the park.
  • Avoid littering the park while on chimpanzee and gorilla treks.
  • Flash photography during gorilla and chimpanzee trekking is not allowed for it may scare the primates.
  • Do not attempt to touch a mountain gorilla or a chimpanzee while in their presence, even when they approach you; just stay still and remain calm until they leave.
  • While on treks, feeding mountain gorillas and chimpanzees is not allowed.

Requirements for Gorilla Trekking and Chimpanzee Trekking

  • Gorilla and chimpanzee trekking permits
  • Good quality hiking shoes to help you navigate the rough and steep terrain
  • Long trousers and long-sleeved shirts to protect you from scratches and plant stings
  • A good camera and binoculars for the best shots and sightings while in the park. 
  • Insect repellent and sunscreen
  • Energy-giving snacks and plenty of drinking water
  • A lightweight backpack to help carry your equipment with ease.
  • A walking stick – these are provided at the park headquarters before your gorilla trekking or chimpanzee trekking tour


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