9 Days Rwanda Family Safari

Places to Visit: Kigali, Nyungwe Forest, Volcanoes National Park

Tour Overview

This wonderful safari will take you to Nyungwe, a vast montane forest found in the South West of Rwanda. This is a recognised huge forest in central Africa with over 10000sq.km. This natural forest is famous for its large groups of colobus monkeys, chimpanzees, butterflies and a rich variety of orchids. This forest is found at a relatively high attitude with a rugged steep slope. Then it continues to Parc National des Volcans, haven for the tender mountain gorillas. Appreciate the beauty of this gigantic tropical rain forest of Virunga, then relax at Lake Kivu and end with a tour around Kigali; visit the Genocide memorial at Gisozi and the Rwanda National Museum.

Highlights:

  • Breath taking scenery
  • Gorilla tracking
  • Chimps viewing
  • Nature walk
  • Canopy walk
  • Lake Kivu Serena
  • Kigali genocide memorial visit

The safari at a glance

  • Day 1: Arrival at Kigali International Airport, transfer to hotel B, D
  • Day 2: Drive to Nyungwe Forest B, L, D
  • Day 3: Chimps Tracking in Nyungwe Forest with optional nature walk B, L, D
  • Day 4: Stunningly beautiful views from Lake Kivu up to Gisenyi B, L, D
  • Day 5: Kibuye to Gisenyi B, L, D
  • Day 6: Gisenyi Musanze B, L, D
  • Day 7: Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes National park B, L, D
  • Day 8: Activities in Volcanoes national park B, L, D
  • Day 9: Transfer back to Kigali B, L, D

SAFARI ITINERARY IN DETAIL

DAY 1: ARRIVAL KIGALI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

Arrival in Kanombe at Kigali International airport. Meet and greet with our guide before transferring to Kigali. Optional: depending on your arrival time, enjoy a City tour; visit the genocide memorial site and art and craft centres. Or straight from the Airport check into the Hotel.

  • Mille Collines Hotel (B-L-D)

DAY 2: DRIVE TO NYUNGWE FOREST

After an early breakfast transfer to Nyungwe Forest National Park. This drive takes about 5 hours. Make stops at local markets, the traditional palace in Nyanza. Continue to Butare, visit the Botanical Gardens and the cultural museum. Pass through green fields of tea scattered across the hillsides and the small unique wooden houses surrounding Nyungwe Forest, on arrival check into the lodge for an overnight.

  • Overnight at Nyungwe Forest Lodge (B-L-D)

DAY 3: CHIMPS TREKKING

Have an early breakfast, transfer to the park headquarters for a briefing. With a park ranger enter the forest for Chimpanzee trekking. Enjoy chimps viewing; as they swing from tree to tree, branch to branch and the little ones feeding on fruits or hiding behind their mothers. Follow them from nest to nest till you have had your full. Then either enjoy the Canopy walk or the waterfall trail walk in the forest before exiting it. A combination of all these activities or any one of these activities is a reward and a wonderful experience. Later return to the lodge for an overnight.

Optional Nature Walk

With an early breakfast, enjoy nature walk. This will be conducted in the company of a park ranger. On this nature walk search for the largest groups of colobus – enjoy viewing many monkeys in large groups and different bird species including; the Rwenzori Turaco. After the walk take a break and relax with a picnic lunch in the middle of the forest.

DAY 4: NYUNGWE FOREST TO KIBUYE

With a morning breakfast proceeds via Kibuye. Enjoy the stunningly beautiful views from Lake Kivu up to Gisenyi; beautiful countryside with valleys full of agricultural farms. Kibuye is the most beautiful of all the three resort town on Lake Kivu. After relax at the shores of Lake Kivu. Take a boat out on the lake to see the various islands. Swim in the refreshing waters or stroll to the nearby villages rambling across a number of hills.

  • Overnight at Lake Kivu Serena (B-L-D)

DAY 5: KIBUYE – GISENYI

After breakfast, either drive to, or you will have an enjoyable speed-boat trip to Gisenyi. You will encounter local fishermen, fishing villages and also the residents of Idjwi Island (Congo) who are rowing long distances in their dugout canoes to visit the Rwanda markets.

You will be picked up in Gisenyi for lunch before retiring to the lodge. Or if time allows you will make arrangements to cross the border to Goma (Optional). Goma was devastated by the eruption of the Nyiragongo volcano. The visit shows the fantastic capabilities of the local population to overcome this natural catastrophe!

The Nyiragongo volcano (3470 m) recently erupted after 2002 eruption and destroyed part of Goma town. Most of Goma’s inhabitants escaped the advancing lava flows crossing the border into neighbouring Rwanda. Later retire to the lodge for an over night.

  • Overnight at Lake Kivu Serena (B-L-D)

DAY 6: GISENYI – MUSANZE

After breakfast visit the Ross Carr’sImbabazi Orphanage. Imbabazi Orphanage was founded by Mrs Rosamond Halsey Carr in late 1994 at Mugongo to care for the genocide orphans. She witnessed all Rwanda’s historical events, including the gluesome genocide of 1994. She is the author of “Land of a Thousand Hills: my life in Rwanda.” Later take a stroll on the lake and also visit other local villages. After lunch drive to Ruhengeri continuing Kinigi for an overnight.

  • Overnight at Virunga Lodge (B-L-D)

DAY 7: GORILLA TRACKING

With an early breakfast, drive to the park headquarters for gorilla briefing. When venturing into this gigantic forest, a packed lunch, comfortable clothes, shoes and a walking stick is a must before gorilla tracking. The time spent gorilla tracking is unpredictable, It varies from 2-8 hours before an encounter with the family of these gentle creatures. The location of each gorilla family depends on temperature, their feeding range and movement of the previous day.

Enjoy this1 hour (only time allowed in the company of each gorilla family a day) watch and capture this memorable experience as they go about their day to day activities; the young ones playing around the old ones, feeding each other and eating foliage. The sight of these outstanding creatures is the climax of this entire safari. Later retire for an overnight at the lodge.

  • Overnight at Virunga Lodge

DAY 8: ACTIVITIES IN VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK

Either track the golden monkeys or climb the breath-taking Visoke volcano, or trek to Karisoke Research Centre; a place which was set up by the famous primatologist Dian Fossey, a brave lady who protected and saved a lot of these gentle creatures from inhuman savages. Or visit the local communities around the park.

  • Overnight at Virunga Lodge

DAY 9 – TRANSFER BACK TO KIGALI

With an early breakfast, drive back to Kigali. Enjoy the Kigali Genocide memorial in Gisozi and the Rwanda National Museum visit, the time to be spent in these places depends on you departure flight.

Included in the package

  • English speaking driver/guide
  • Entrance fees and ranger fees for national parks
  • Chimp tracking in Kibale Forest
  • Guided nature walks in Kibale Forest and Bigodi Swamp
  • Game drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park
  • Meet with gorillas – the gentle giants of Bwindi
  • Boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel
  • Bottled water throughout the safari
  • Permit for chimp tracking in Kibale Forest
  • AMREF insurance

Excluded from the package

  • International flights
  • Airport taxes
  • All meals and drinks not specified
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature