9 Days Best of Rwanda Safari

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Safari Overview

On this 9 days Best of Rwanda Safari, discover the “Land of a Thousand Hills,” as you explore Rwanda’s top safari gorilla, wildlife, and cultural destinations. The 9 days best of Rwanda safari will take you on wonderful adventures including boat rides, gorilla trekking, cultural and community tours, sightseeing, city tours, and so many others. Explore Rwanda’s classic city of Kigali and visit several monuments, museums, and Genocide memorial sites.

From there, take to the wild in Akagera National Park for a thrilling wildlife adventure. Visit the twin lakes, enjoy gorilla trekking, and immerse yourself in the culture of the Volcanoes National Park. Still, on your 9 days Best of Rwanda safari, you will visit the beautiful Lake Kivu and explore its fishing villages, and water sports, to mention but a few. Make the best of your 9 days best of Rwanda safari which will start and end in Kigali – Rwanda.

Safari Highlights

  • Kigali City Tour
  • Game drive in Akagera National Park
  • Boat ride on Lake Ihema
  • Visit the Twin Lakes
  • Gorilla trekking in the Volcanoes National Park
  • Cultural Tours and Community Visits
  • Boat ride on Lake Kivu

9 Days Best of Rwanda Safari Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival at Kigali International Airport

Following your arrival at Kigali International Airport, you will be met by our company representative/safari guide who will transfer you to your hotel in Kigali. You will check into your hotel and have dinner, as well as a briefing about your 9 days Best of Rwanda Safari. Overnight stay at your hotel.

Day 2: Kigali City Tour

Today, wake up to a splendid breakfast, after which you will embark on your Kigali City Tour. The Kigali city tour will treat you to an amazing experience, beginning with a tour of Rwanda’s historical sites and genocide memorials. Among other places, you will visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial, Kandt Museum, and Belgian Camp to get an insight into Rwanda’s cultural and historical background, as well as heritage. You will have lunch in Kigali and then proceed with your city tour: explore local markets, and genocide churches – Nyamata and Ntarama and conclude your tour with a visit to Bugesera Reconciliation Village to learn more about Rwanda’s history.  Return to your hotel after and relax. Overnight stay at your hotel.

Day 3: Transfer to Akagera National Park – Boat safari on Lake Ihema

After your delicious breakfast, embark on a 4 hours journey to Akagera National Park – Rwanda’s sole wildlife savannah park. The park is home to a variety of mammals and bird species, including the rarest species not found anywhere else in the country. Enjoy several impressive sights en route to Akagera and on arrival, head straight to your lodge and have lunch.

After lunch, you will take to the wild on a boat safari on Lake Ihema where you will spot a range of aquatic animals and birds such as hippos, crocodiles, hornbills, pelicans, sunbirds, fish eagles, etc., and other animals such as buffaloes, elephants, waterbucks, among others refreshing by the lake shores. The boat safari will last about 2 hours, after which you will head back to your lodge. Overnight stay at your lodge.

Day 4: Early Morning Game Drive – Cultural Visit

Wake up to an early breakfast/cup of coffee and head out for the early morning game drive which starts at sunrise. Expect to encounter lions, leopards, spotted hyenas, and other predators as well as rhinos, elephants, bushbucks, waterbucks, oribis, topis, giraffes, kobs, impalas, elands, and a variety of bird species. Akagera National Park hosts over 500 recorded bird species. After about 4 hours of exploring Akagera’s rich game, return to your lodge and relax.

Later in the afternoon, you will drive to the northern portion of the park for a cultural visit to the pastoralist communities. Explore local cattle farms, interact with the locals, and also participate in traditional milking activities, among others. Overnight stay at your lodge.

Day 5: Visit the Twin Lakes – Transfer to the Volcanoes National Park

Today, you will have breakfast and drive to visit the twin Rwanda twin lakes of Bulera and Ruhondo, located in Musanze district. On arrival, you will be welcomed by the breathtaking scenery that surrounds the lakes. Enjoy a canoe ride with fascinating views of birds, fishermen, and the stunning landscape. Lunch will be in Musanze town, and after you will make your way to the Volcanoes National Park. Overnight stay in the Volcanoes National Park.

Day 6: Gorilla Trekking in the Volcanoes National Park

Following breakfast, your guide will pick you up from your lodge and transfer you to the park headquarters for the briefing before your gorilla trekking experience. During the briefing, you will be given the guidelines for trekking by the park wardens. In groups of eight, you will be assigned a gorilla group to trek and armed rangers to lead you on your trek. Be sure to come prepared with good hiking shoes, appropriate clothing (long-sleeved shirts, long trousers, and a rain jacket), a good camera and binoculars, insect repellent, sunscreen, packed lunch or snacks, and plenty of drinking water.

At around 8:30 am, set out into the jungle in search of mountain gorillas. Expect to spend between 1 to 5 hours on the trek, depending on the location of your gorilla group. Nonetheless, the trek will be filled with encounters with monkeys, baboons, and birds, among other creatures. When you finally allocate the gorilla group, you will be allocated an hour to spend with them; watching them feed, and nurture their young ones, some simply relaxing and the juveniles playing around. After gorilla trekking, have your packed lunch and trek back to the headquarters, upon which you will return to your lodge. Later in the evening, take to Kinigi Cultural Village for a cultural experience. While there, enjoy a taste of local cuisines and a display of several traditional practices, as well as get acquainted with the locals. Overnight stay at your lodge.

Day 7: Transfer to Lake Kivu – Boat ride

Have breakfast Lake Kivu Rwandaand check out of your lodge as you bid the Volcanoes farewell, and embark on a journey to Lake Kivu, located in Gisenyi. Lake Kivu is one of the African great lakes and Rwanda’s largest lake. En route, you will visit the sorghum and banana plantations, as well as the beer plants: you may also take the opportunity to have a taste of the delicious Rwandese local beer. Proceed with your journey to Lake Kivu and on arrival, check into your hotel and relax.

Later, go for a boat cruise on Lake Kivu, which has a lot of sights to offer including a variety of water birds, numerous gorgeous islands, a range of fishermen going on about their fishing activities as they sing in harmony, and several communities that surround the lake. Return to your hotel later and have dinner. Overnight stay at your hotel.

Day 8: Explore Lake Kivu – Transfer to Kigali

Today, you will spend the morning exploring more of Lake Kivu – a very beautiful and adventurous lake in Rwanda. Enjoy optional activities such as kayaking, bird-watching, nature walks, or simply relaxing at the hotel. After lunch drive back to Kigali, upon which you will check into your hotel and relax.

Day 9: Visit Butare – Departure

Today after breakfast, you will take a tour of Butare, Rwanda’s second-largest city and famed “intellectual town.” Butare is home to some of Rwanda’s most popular cultural and historical sites including the ancient King’s Palace at Nyanza, the Ethnographic Museum (National Museum), and the Basilica of Kabagayi, among others. Lunch will be in Butare, after which you will return to Kigali and proceed to the airport for your departure back home. This marks the end of your 9 days Best of Rwanda safari.

Packing List for Gorilla Trekking

  • A lightweight backpack
  • Good quality hiking boots
  • Long trousers and long-sleeved shirts
  • A rain jacket
  • Insect repellent and sunscreen
  • Toiletries
  • Energy-giving snacks and a water bottle
  • A good camera, extra batteries, and a pair of binoculars
  • A pair of hiking gloves

SAFARI INCLUSIONS

  • Akagera park entry fees
  • Gorilla trekking permit ($1,500 per permit)
  • Accommodation on full-board
  • Meals
  • Service of a professional English-speaking guide
  • Ground transportation in a 4×4 safari vehicle
  • All safari activities included in the safari itinerary
  • All airport transfers
  • Bottled drinking water

SAFARI EXCLUSIONS

  • International flight tickets
  • Travel insurance
  • All costs of personal nature including souvenirs, tips, laundry, alcoholic drinks, etc.
  • All optional activities excluded from the itinerary

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