6 Day Rwanda Primates Exclusive

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Welcome to Rwanda, the “land of a thousand hills”. This luxury tour has been designed to show you the best highlights of this fascinating country from a primate’s-eye view of Nyungwe Forest on a canopy walk, to close encounters with chimpanzees and the gorillas of the mist. In the evenings you will stay in the best lodges in the country, known for their excellent service and exceptionally beautiful locations.

DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION Kigali International Airport
DEPARTURE TIME Please arrive at least 2 hours before the flight.
Entrance fees Accommodations
2 Days cruise Professional guide
Guide gratuity


Day 1: Arrival to Kigali

Welcome to the land of a thousand hills! This small but scenically stunning country is thus known for its endless rolling green hills, which you will experience on your fly-over to Kigali International Airport.

At the airport you will be greeted by your Tours guide and driven to your hotel in a quiet leafy street in the heart of down-town Kigali. Over a complimentary drink by the hotel’s pool bar your guide will brief you on the details of your upcoming adventure.

If time allows, you are free to explore the city today. Your guide can take you on a city tour or visit the craft markets to browse amongst the pottery, carvings, batik, weaving, musical instruments, leather and fabrics on offer. Prepare to use your haggling skills!

Accommodation at The Retreat by Heaven – Superior King Suite with no meals included today


Day 2: Visit Genocide Memorial & Travel to Nyungwe Forest

If you get an early start today there will be time to visit the Genocide Memorial in town before setting off to Nyungwe Forest. The Genocide Memorial is a place of commemoration for the 250,000 victims buried in mass graves in the area and an important remembrance of the unfathomable brutality of the 1994 genocide. The exhibit is an intensely emotional experience but also an educational one, where you will learn about the darkest hour in Rwanda’s recent history.

On your drive out west today, you will be passing through the town of Butare, about 135km from Kigali. Here you can visit Butare National Museum displaying a range of ethnographic objects that will give you an insight into the rich traditional life and culture of the country.

At the end of the day you will reach Nyungwe Forest National Park, one of the world’s oldest and arguably Africa’s most beautiful rainforest. The forest is incredibly biodiverse with 13 known primate species in residence, from colobus monkeys, mangabeys, blue monkeys and, of course, our nearest relatives, the chimpanzees.

Nyungwe Forest is also famous among the birding community who come to spot some of the 310 bird species recorded here, 26 of which are endemic to Rwanda.

You will have plenty of time to explore the interior of the forest tomorrow. Accommodation at The One & Only Nyungwe House – Nyungwe Room
with Breakfast, Packed Lunch & Dinner


Day 3: Chimpanzee Tracking & Canopy Walk (optional)

Today you will venture deep into Nyungwe Forest National Park in search of the chimpanzees.

On a Chimpanzee Tracking experience in Nyungwe Forest you will have the opportunity to follow an experienced guide into the forest to observe these fascinating creatures at a close range. Watching them interact with each other and go about their daily routine of grooming, playing and foraging is an incredible experience.

While your chances of encountering chimpanzees are high during your tracking excursion, it is never 100% guaranteed. These are, after all, wild animals with wills and minds of their own!

From the trails below the foliage you will now head up high into the forest canopy on one of East Africa’s first canopy walks. The network of suspension bridges will lead you on a 1.5 hour walk over a deep gorge, through beautiful and lush vegetation and difference animal habitats.

The canopy walk is an optional activity. Should you want to spend your afternoon enjoying the luxurious comforts of the lodge or doing one of the complimentary activities on offer there, just let your guide know in advance.

Accommodation at The One & Only Nyungwe House – Nyungwe Room with Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner


Day 4: Volcanoes National Park

If you think after Nyungwe Forest that Rwanda can’t get any more scenic, you haven’t seen Volcanoes National Park. The national park contains parts of the Virunga mountain range and its 5 volcanoes that form the border between Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Besides being one of the most scenic sights in Africa, the park is also the gateway to face-to-face encounters with the iconic mountain gorillas.

While the main draw of visiting Volcanoes NP is to see the real gorillas in the mist, there are other fantastic activities to experience here like, tracking excursions to find the rare golden monkeys, spectacular volcano hikes and a visit to the Dian Fossey research center. Speak with your Travel Consultant if you would like to extend your stay in the park for an additional day to include one or more of these activities.

Accommodation at Sabinyo Silverback Lodge with Breakfast, Packed Lunch & Dinner.

Lodge Upgrade: Bisate Lodge (prices upon request)

Located in the natural amphitheatre of an eroded volcanic cone, with dramatic views of the peaks of the Bisoke and Karisimbi volcanoes, Bisate Lodge is one of Rwanda’s first genuinely luxurious and eco-sensitive safari lodges. Six opulent en-suite forest villas maximise comfort and views while adhering to environmentally responsible principles and reflecting the rich culture of rural Rwanda. Ask your Travel Consultant for a quote for this lodge upgrade.


Day 5: Gorilla Tracking

Encountering the rare and endangered mountain gorillas is an experience of a lifetime.In the company of an experienced park ranger you will be tracking the whereabouts of one of the habituated family groups who live in the park and can tolerate the presence of humans for a brief period every day.

Your gorilla tracking experience will be an exciting, yet challenging, journey along forested (sometimes muddy and slippery) slopes, tangled vines, thick vegetation and bamboo forests before you reach the territory of these gentle giants. En-route, your ranger will point out telltale signs of previous gorilla activity like dung, nests and chewed bamboo shoots. Depending on the location of the gorillas on any given day the walk can take anything from 1 to 7 hours. Once the family of gorillas have been located, settle in to the environment and enjoy the hour you have to quietly observe these fascinating primates whose habits and mannerisms remind us so much of our own.

Encountering the mountain gorillas in the wild is a truly humbling and emotional experience, one that you are sure to remember for the rest of your life.Accommodation at Sabinyo Silverback Lodge with Breakfast, Packed Lunch & Dinner


Day 6: Return to Kigali

Enjoy your last morning in the rainforest today. After an early lunch your guide will drive you back to Kigali for your departure flight. A farewell dinner with your guide in Kigali is included in your meal plan today before you are driven to the airport. Should you depart on an earlier flight please let your Travel Consultant know to deduct the meal from your package.

Accommodation at Not included today with Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Extension: Safari in Akagera National Park

Rwanda is mainly known for its abundance of primate species, but did you know that you can combine your trip with a wildlife safari in Akagera National Park? The park is located in the north-eastern part of the country, near the border with Tanzania, and only a 5-hour drive from Volcanoes National Park.

The park has a variety of wildlife and is a habitat for over 500 different species of birds. On a game drive in the park you may see herds of elephant and buffalo emerge from the woodland to drink at the lakes, and if you are lucky, maybe even leopard, spotted hyena or lions. Over the past couple of years several black rhinos have been re-introduced to the park after having been made extinct in 2007. That officially makes Rwanda a Big 5 country again!

Ask your Travel Consultant to include two nights in Akagera National Park if you are interested in this extension.


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