This 12 days Magical Rwanda Experience takes you to visit all the 3 National Parks of Rwanda – Nyungwe Forest National Park in the South West, for chimps and birds; Kibuye township on Lake Kivu; Akagera National Park in the east for game, including elephant, buffalo, leopard, zebra, as well as hippo and crocodile. The tour ends with Parc National des Volcans (Volcanoes National Park) in the North for gorilla tracking. Lake Kivu is unique: Its deep waters contain an enormous quantity of dissolved gas.
There are, in fact, 65 billion cubic metres of methane, in other words the equivalent of 50 million tonnes of petrol lying at the bottom of the lake under 250 m of water. If it were exploited, this energy, veritable manna from heaven, would provide Rwanda with an almost inexhaustible source of energy, freeing it from worry about energy needs linked to its development projects.
There is a pilot station for the extraction of methane for energy. Activities: Bird Watching, Chimpanzee Trekking, Cultural Activities, Gorilla Trekking, Guided Nature Walks & Hikes., Wildlife Viewing Parks & places: Akagera National Park, Butare and the National Museum, Genocide Memorial Centre at Gisozi, Lake Kivu, Nyungwe Forest NP., Volcanoes National Park.
Day 1: Arrival at Kigali
Arrive Kigali. Met by our smiling guide. Greet and transfer to hotel. [Approximate driving time: 30 minutes] Meals and overnight at Kigali Serena Hotel (High end facility) or Hotel Chez Lando (Mid Lodge facility) or Quiet Haven Hotel (Budget facility) (-D)
Day 2: Kigali – Butare – Nyungwe Forest NP.
After breakfast you will depart for Butare the second largest city of Rwanda and is regarded as the intellectual city of Rwanda. It hosts the National Museum, several academic (University) and research institutions. On your way to Butare you will visit Nyanza (currently Nyabisindu) the former Mwami’s palace (King’s palace) and the seat of the feudal monarchy. The palace has been reconstructed to its 19th century state and shows a traditional dome that can be compared with the Kabaka’s palace of Buganda.
You will visit the National Museum which is one the well set-up if not the finest ethnographic museum of East Africa. It’s a good source of information on the cultural history of Rwanda and the region. Lunch at Butare and later we will drive to Nyungwe Forest National Park. Your driver-guide will stop at the Uwinka offices to have the last update on the presence of the semi-habituated groups of chimps and colobus monkeys. This will help you to prepare your activities of the next day. Overnight and dinner at Nyungwe Hill Top View Lodge (High end), Emeraude Lodge (Mid Lodge facility) or Gisakura Guest House (Budget facility Meal plan (FB)
Day 3: Nyungwe Forest National Park
Either a chimp tracking experience in Nyungwe or you may choose to have another guided primate walk or have one of the hikes in the well-maintained trails. There are a large host of primates and blue monkeys present and often observed around Uwinka, requiring less strenuous hiking. There is also an orchid garden at Uwinka and for those who would like a challenging hike we recommend the trail “the Bigugu Mountain”, the highest peak in Nyungwe Forest at nearly 3000m.
Bird watchers will certainly be interested to know that Nyungwe has also some Albertine rift endemic species that can only be seen here! Birding is very rewarding on one of the special designed trails! Overnight and dinner at Nyungwe Hill Top View Lodge (High end), Emeraude lodge(Mid Lodge facility) or Gisakura Guest House (Budget facility Meal plan (FB)
Day 4: Nyungwe Forest National Park
In Nyungwe Forest National Park: Guided nature walk of a particular interest are the large social groups of Angolan Colobus (Colobus angolensis), which may be over 300 individuals. These are the largest troops of this species known in the world! Nyungwe forest counts 25% of the African Primates! Overnight and dinner at Nyungwe Hill View Top Lodge (High end), Emeraude lodge ( Mid Lodge facility ) or Gisakura Guest House (Budget facility Meal plan (FB)
Day 5: Nyungwe Forest NP – Kibuye
After breakfast you will leave for Kibuye, passing through the green fields of tea plantations before explorating the shores of Lake Kivu. Kibuye which is one of the three resort towns on Lake Kivu is the most beautiful. Arrival at Kibuye is foreseen at lunch time. After Nyungwe, most participants will welcome that relaxing moments on the shores of Lake Kivu, a boat ride is a must. Overnight at Serena Kivu Sun (lodge facility), Paradise Malahide (Mid lodge facility) or Ubumwe (Budget facility) (B-L-D)
Day 6: Kibuye – Gisenyi – Kinigi
You will be picked up, detour to Gisenyi, lunch while there and we drive to Ruhengeri and Kinigi for an overnight at your hotel. Overnight and dinner at The Manor Lodge (High end facility), Le’ Bambou Gorilla Lodge (Mid Lodge facility) or Kinigi Guest House (Budget facility) (B-L-D)
Day 7: Gorilla Trekking
After breakfast you will report at the ORTPN headquarters where your driver-guide will accomplish the necessary formalities for you. You will meet your ranger guide(s) for a briefing about the greatest animal experience ever. Then we will drive you to the slopes of one of the Virunga volcanoes for your trekking.
After the trekking, lunch at your hotel or at Ruhengeri and in the afternoon, if time allows, an excursion to explore the beautiful lakes in the region: Lake Bulera & Ruhondo.
An excellent view of the Virunga chain of Volcanoes can be seen while there depending on weather conditions. Overnight and dinner at The Manor Lodge (High end facility), Le’ Bambou Gorilla Lodge (Mid Lodge facility) or Kinigi Guest House (Budget facility) (B-L-D)
Day 8: Golden Monkey trekking – Transfer to Kigali
A visit to the Golden Monkeys: the little-known Golden Monkey (cercopithecus mitis kandti) is listed as “endangered”, the newly habituated groups of about 40 individuals are the only ones in Africa. The Kabatwa troop is located not so far from the Park Headquarters and the Musanga troop lives near the Karisimbi volcano and has a much longer walking distance. Meals and overnight at Kigali Serena Hotel (High end facility) or Hotel Chez Lando (Mid Lodge facility) or Quiet Haven Hotel (Budget facility) (B-L-D)
Day 9: Kigali – Kayonza – Akagera NP
You will drive for 3 hours to Akagera National Park, via Kayonza to the Eastern part of Rwanda. We will arrive before lunch at the beautiful Akagera Game Lodge which has a swimming pool. Take a swim before lunch. After lunch you will start your exploration with a game drive by visiting the giraffe valley.
The giraffes of Akagera National Park were translocated from Kenya in January 1986. The 2 males and 4 female Masai giraffes were got near Lake Magadi (Kenya) and given to the Rwandan government under an agreement to restock the latter’s wildlife habitats that were depleted by many years of poaching. The giraffes were first put in an enclosure on the Rurama peninsula.
One night on Christmas 1987 they escaped because the barrier was broken down by elephants. (A ranger died of his wounds when he tried to prevent the elephants). The giraffes crossed the Kiyonza ridges and settled on the Nyamwashama plains, since then also named as the giraffe valley. The animals have grown tremendously since then, with first baby giraffe born in 1988 and the second a year later. Meals and overnight at Ruzizi Tented Lodge (High end facility) or Akagera Game lodge (Mid Lodge facility) (B-L-D)
Day 10: Akagera National Park
Enjoy the Lodge and its astonishing views over Lake Ihema. After an Early breakfast your exploration starts with a boat trip on Lake Ihema which is a very rewarding experience for seeing the large number of hippos, the huge Nile crocodiles and many birds. After the boat trip you will continue your exploration along the lakes Kivumba, Hago; Mihindi and Rwanyakizinga.
They are the most interesting part of the park especially for birders. You will return for your lunch and enjoy a fresh swim at the Lodge. In the late afternoon you will return to the giraffe valley which is usually full of surprises. Meals and overnight at Ruzizi Tented Lodge (High end facility) or Akagera Game lodge (Mid Lodge facility) (B-L-D)
Day 11: Akagera National Park – Kayonza – Kigali
You will wake up early in the morning and leave after breakfast for another day of exploration. This time you will start with a visit to the height of Mutumba, the highest point of the park. You will have a view of all the Akagera lakes and the Karangwe Mountains in Tanzania, with Lake Tanganyika visible at a distance.
Descend to the Lake area where you will have a picnic lunch on edge of one of the beautiful lakes. In the afternoon you will drive back to the lodge before returning to Kigali where we will drop you at the hotel. Kigali Serena Hotel (High end facility) or Hotel Chez Lando (Mid Lodge facility) or Quiet Haven Hotel (Budget facility) (B-L-D)
Day 12: Kigali visit and departure
The half day Kigali City trip includes a visit to the Genocide Memorial Centre at Gisozi, which takes a few hours. It’s a touching visit! And visit the local general goods market and the craft centre. In Rwanda you will find all over the country Memorials to remember the genocide of 1994.
The most important Genocide Memorials are those of Kigali (Gisozi) and Murambi (Gikongoro) where the history of the genocide is explained. A visit to the genocide memorial is for most visitors an emotional event. Transfer to Airport for departure. (B-L) End of service
The 12 days Magical Rwanda Experience includes:
- Airport transfers.
- Accommodation on full board FB
- Transportation 4×4 land cruiser
- 1 Liter of Mineral water per person per day
- Service of English speaking driver guide
- Service of airport representative.
- Two gorilla permits per person
- Golden Monkey trekking
- Boat ride Kivu
- Visit Mutumba
- Lake Burera visit
- Gisenyi Tour
- City Tour
- Enroute Lunches
- Visit Mutumba
- Game drive
- Boat ride
However 12 days Magical Rwanda Experience excludes
- Flights, Drinks Visa, travel insurance
- Laundry, internet.
- Tips & all personal expenses