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9-Day Rwanda: the Full Works on a Shoestring – 9 Days

9-Day Rwanda: the Full Works on a Shoestring – 9 Days

Rwanda is a rollercoaster of awe, emotion and utter amazement. We recommend spending at least two nights in Kigali to visit the genocide memorial before departing for the Volcanoes National Park. Here, you’ll track gorilla and search for endangered golden monkeys. A stop at the beautiful Lake Kivu gives you a couple of days to put your feet up before continuing to Nyungwe. The forest is one of the continent’s most important areas of biodiversity and the big drawcard is chimpanzee trekking.

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Description

Rwanda is a rollercoaster of awe, emotion and utter amazement. We recommend spending at least two nights in Kigali to visit the genocide memorial before departing for the Volcanoes National Park. Here, you’ll track gorilla and search for endangered golden monkeys. A stop at the beautiful Lake Kivu gives you a couple of days to put your feet up before continuing to Nyungwe. The forest is one of the continent’s most important areas of biodiversity and the big drawcard is chimpanzee trekking.

Arrive in Kigali – 1st day

You will be met and transferred to your first lodge.

There are African cities, noisy, bustling and glorious in their own right, and then there’s Kigali. Having not only survived its turbulent political past, the capital has positively blossomed into one of Africa’s most cosmopolitan hotspots. Safe and clean (the last Saturday of every month is reserved for hedge-clipping, rubbish-collecting and other novel community activities), it’s also remarkably picturesque, surrounded by emerald-green hills and sweeping valleys.

This large, modern hotel in central Kigali lies just 10 kilometres from Kigali International Airport. The rooms are quiet, so take some down time, enjoy the varied cuisine at the restaurants, wander around the lush gardens and laze around the pool. And do visit the blissful spa.

Main Destination: Kigali
Accommodation: Heaven Boutique Hotel
• Luxury hotel located in or near the park
Meals & Drinks:
• Breakfast (Lunch & dinner not included)
• Drinks not included

Volcanoes National Park – 2nd-3rd day

Make all your wildlife dreams come true with gorilla treks in an enchanting forest setting.

Straddling the border of Uganda, DRC and Rwanda, the Virungas are the luscious, magical and utterly spellbinding home of 480 mountain gorillas (sadly, that’s more than half the world’s remaining population). On the Rwandan side, the Parc National des Volcans, or Volcanoes National Park, is the place to go for face-to-face encounters with these wonderful primates – an experience worthy of every superlative in the dictionary. But don’t stop at the gorillas; the Virungas are also home to the rare golden monkey.

Mountain Gorilla View Lodge is just 10 minutes by road from the main entrance of Volcanoes National Park. Above you towers Mount Karasimbi, the highest volcanic mountain in Virunga massif. The lodge is comfortable, with roomy and comfortable accommodation (don’t expect glamour), the food is good, the staff are warm and on hand, and the views are simply splendid.

Main Destination: Volcanoes National Park
Accommodation: Mountain Gorilla View Lodge
• Mid-range lodge located just outside Volcanoes NP
Meals & Drinks:
• All meals included
• Drinks not included

Lake Kivu – 5th-6th day

An enormous, freshwater lake in the heart of the Albertine Rift, Lake Kivu is bordered by Rwanda to one side, and the DRC to the other. The setting is dramatic and beautiful: steep escarpments and terraced tea plantations plunge into the glassy water, pretty islets and peninsulas are draped in thick forest, and crescents of golden sand peek out from under the greenery.

Set on a steep hill leading down to the shore of Lake Kivu, stone-built Cormoran Lodge accommodates just 16 guests in wooden cabins. From the lodge, steps lead down to a small private man-made beach beside the lake, which begs you to swim, paddle around its shores in a kayak, or try a spot of waterskiing or boating. The Cormoran is not a luxury lodge, but it’s clean, comfortable and full of African character, so it’s perfect for a few days’ stopover if you’re exploring Nyungwe Forest and the Virunga Volcanoes.

Main Destination: Lake Kivu
Accommodation: Cormoran Lodge
• Mid-range lodge located in or near Volcanoes NP
Meals & Drinks:
• Breakfast (Lunch & dinner not included)
• Drinks not included

Nyungwe Forest – 7th-8th day

Nyungwe National Park is Rwanda’s most important area of biodiversity, and is currently the highest priority for forest conservation in Africa. A pretty good claim to fame, and for good reason too. The vast rainforest is truly enchanting: dense stands of mahoganies tangled with ancient ferns tower overhead; herbaceous plants and cornucopias of colourful orchids and butterflies charm every sense. As for wildlife, more than a quarter of Africa’s primates live here. The big drawcard is chimpanzee trekking, but 400-strong troops of monkeys, baboon, mongoose, otter, bushpig, civet and genet also deserve your attention. And don’t forget East Africa’s highest canopy walk offering vertiginous views of the enchanting scenery.

The hotel lies on a small plateau with some of the most beautiful views in the Nyungwe Forest area—the largest single forest block in East Africa and Rwanda’s biggest water reservoir. The hotel is modern and the ideal base for exploratory tours.

Main Destination: Nyungwe Forest National Park
Accommodation: Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel
• Mid-range hotel located just outside Nyungwe Forest NP
Meals & Drinks:
• Breakfast (Lunch & dinner not included)
• Drinks not included

Back to Kigali – 9th day

Today you will travel back to Kigali for your final day of your trip.

Main Destination: Kigali
Accommodation: No accommodation (End of tour)
Meals & Drinks:
• Breakfast (Lunch & dinner not included)
• Drinks not included

End of tour
• Additional accommodation can be arranged for an extra cost.
• You’ll be dropped off at the airport (or hotel).

Included

• Park fees(For non-residents)
• Gorilla permits(One per person, non-resident)
• Chimp permits(One per person, non-resident)
• All activities(Unless labeled as optional)
• All accommodation(Unless listed as upgrade)
• A professional driver/guide
• All transportation(Unless labeled as optional)
• All Taxes/VAT
• Roundtrip airport transfer
• Meals(As specified in the day-by-day section)

Excluded

• International flights(From/to home)
• Additional accommodation before and at the end of the tour
• Tips(Tipping guideline US$10.00 pp per day)
• Personal items(Souvenirs, travel insurance, visa fees, etc.)
• Government imposed increase of taxes and/or park fees
• Some meals(As specified in the day-by-day section)
• Drinks

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