9 Days Rwanda Safari and Gorilla Tour
Rwanda Safari Gorilla Tour – Recently, Rwanda has become a top favoured Gorilla trekking destination. Some travellers will visit this beautiful and naturally gifted country for a day or two to see the gorillas and fly home. This is already a significant contribution to conservation, but there is also much pleasure in taking an adventure to understand the entire country and its beautiful happy people.
This WILD INTENSE tour covers the lows and highs of the thousand-hilled country. We visit the Akagera National Park and have a great time with its rolling hills while we look for the big game. We take our chances on the African Big Five in one of the continent’s smallest countries. Akagera bushes and thickets are home to an incredible diversity of wildlife and Nyungwe has its level of definition when it comes to montane forest and primates.
By the time we visit Volcanoes National Park, which is the last destination of the tour, we will have covered a highly ranking scenic journey on the African continent.
Day 1 Rwanda Safari Gorilla Tour: Arrival for Rwanda Wildlife Tour
We consider a night stay in Kigali since we are not sure about the arrival times of the flights. Provided flights are here early; we will visit a couple of historical sites in the country. We like to visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial
Day 2 Rwanda Safari Gorilla Tour: Transfer to Akagera National Park
After breakfast, we transfer to Akagera National Park. The park lies mainly in the Mubari–Migongo subregion which is in the north-east of Rwanda, on the Tanzanian and Ugandan borders. The topography of the park is characterised by rolling sandstone hills in the west, cut in places by deep, narrow valleys. In the east, flood-plains and swamps are predominant. To the south of the Buganza, the Gisaka subregion is wetter. And to the north of Akagera is the Mutara subregion where the vegetation is dominated by open grasslands in which Themeda, Hyparrhenia and Cymbopogon are predominate.
Day 3 Rwanda Safari Gorilla Tour: Game Viewing and Boat Ride
Early in the morning, we set out for the early risers. We look out for the African Lions, some antelope species, African Elephant, Giraffe, Birds and much more.
We return to the Lodge for lunch, and in the afternoon, we go for a boat ride on Lake Ihema for game viewing at close quarters. The cruise usually breeds numbers of the Nile crocodile, Hippopotamus, grassland game, and we shall enjoy them as they come to drink by the shores. The bird lovers will have a great treat recognisable on a Rwanda Birding Tour.
Day 4 Rwanda Safari Gorilla Tour: Transfer to Nyungwe Forest National park for Chimps and other Primates Viewing
Have breakfast then transfer to Nyungwe Forest as the home of primates; we pass by Murambi Rwanda Genocide Memorial Museum and Rwanda National Museum.
Nyungwe forest is situated in south-west Rwanda between Lake Kivu and the international border with Burundi. Nyungwe is divided north-south by a line of mountains that reach 2,600–2,900 m and which form part of the remote Congo–Nile watershed. As a result, Nyungwe is composed of two areas differing in pedology, vegetation, water-flow and biodiversity.
Day 5 Rwanda Safari Gorilla Tour: Rwanda Chimpanzee Tracking and Primate Walk Tour – Safari Rwanda
This morning we follow on arrangements made the previous day and head to the forest to track Common Chimpanzee. There are not so many places in the world where human beings can visit their closest relatives, Nyungwe and its surrounds are one of the very few and the experience here, hardly compares.
When we return to our accommodation, we spend the rest of the day looking for the other 12 species of primates that occur here and also enjoy the other beauties of Nyungwe forest. The primates include the restricted-range Angola Pied Colobus which we will commit ample to if we are to find them. Other primates shall consist of; L’Hoest’s monkey, Owl-faced monkey, Blue monkey, Red-tailed Monkey, Grey-cheeked mangabey, Mantled guereza and the widespread Olive Baboon.
Other mammals we will be looking for include shall include the Giant forest squirrel, Rwenzori Sun squirrel, Boem’s bush squirrel, Giant forest hog, Black-fronted duiker and Yellow-backed duiker. The Leopard, Golden cat, Large-spotted genet also occur here, and there are also high chances for Congo clawless otter that can be tough to see as they make their way in streams and many more.
Day 6 Rwanda Safari Gorilla Tour: Nyungwe Forest Canopy Walk
Very few canopies walks occur in Africa, if you are visiting the eastern part of the continent, this is the only chance. There are fascinating views of the forest top when walking this trail. In seasons, the blooms can be breath-taking, the butterfly and birdlife up here is quite something.
We take it easy during the afternoon or go back to the forest for a nature walk and enjoy more of the beauties that we can not physically carry home after the tour.
Day 7 Rwanda Safari Gorilla Tour: Rwanda Wildlife Tour to Volcanoes National Park
After breakfast, we transfer to the home of the endangered Mountain Gorillas.
Volcanoes National Park (Parc National des Volcans) is in north-west Rwanda on the joint border with Uganda and DR Congo. It is contiguous with Mgahinga Gorilla National Park (Uganda) and Virunga National Park (the Democratic Republic of the Congo).
The park is best known for Mountain Gorilla Gorilla gorilla beringei and famous for being the base for the American naturalist Dian Fossey to carry out her research into the Mountain Gorillas.
Dian arrived in 1967 and set up the Karisoke Research Centre between Karisimbi and Visoke. From then on, she spent most of her time in the park and she widely credited with saving the Mountain Gorillas from extinction by bringing their plight to the attention of the international community. Unknown assailants murdered her at her home in 1985, a crime often attributed to the poachers she had spent her life fighting against. Fossey’s life later was portrayed on the big screen in the famous film “Gorillas in the Mist”, named after her autobiography. Her grave is in the park close to the research centre, and amongst the gorillas which became her life.
Day 8 Rwanda Safari Gorilla Tour: Rwanda Gorilla Trekking at Volcanoes National Park
The main activity today will be Mountain Gorilla Tracking. Mountain gorillas are the largest living primates and the world’s most endangered apes with an estimated population of just over one thousand left in the wild of the whole world and none in zoos. The Eastern Gorilla was not yet known to the scientist until 1902. They are the next closest living relatives to human beings after the two chimpanzee species, sharing 97% DNA with us.
After tracking and still feeling energetic, an optional leisurely village walk to the locals can be considered. This is ideal for the adventurous groups that love to learn of the details of the people in areas they travel.
Day 9 Rwanda Safari Gorilla Tour: Transfer to Kigali for Departure
The nine days adventure around Rwanda comes to an end. We head to Kigali to catch flights. This is almost a three hours drive, and we are not considering a day room to change in Kigali in the costing of this tour. However, WILD INTENSE will be happy to secure a place on your behalf if you would like one.
- Transport in a 4WD Toyota Land Cruiser with a pop-up roof and clear sliding windows for excellent game viewing safari and photography
- All vehicle fuel for the tour
- One Eastern Gorilla Trekking Permit per person
- One Chimpanzee Trekking Permit Per Person
- Boat Rides
- English speaking Ugandan driver/guide
- Accommodation and three meals a day (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) through the tour. Or as agreed at booking
- Park Entrance/Conservation fees according to the program
- All activities described in the itinerary
- International air fares and entry visa
- Meals that are not part of your accommodation
- A porter during the gorilla trekking (Optional Community support staff who carries your day pack)
- Personal (medical/travel) insurance
- Government tax or park fees increase
- Tips and gratuities to rangers, driver/guide, porter, hotel staff, etc
- All expenses of personal nature (e.g. drinks, laundry, optional activities, souvenirs etc.)