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Rwanda Wildlife Experience Tour - 14 Days

Rwanda Wildlife Experience Tour
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Classic Wildlife tour in Rwanda

This is a classic Rwanda Wildlife Tour that takes you through all of the attractions that the country has to offer. You will experience the cultural and historical diversity, the abundant birdlife, and the wildlife, which will include the Big Five, gorillas, chimps, and other apes. Experience the exquisite landscape and even enjoy canoeing and hiking a crater mountain. This is the ultimate holiday tour to keep you refreshed and leave you with lasting memories.

The tour sets off in Kigali, heading south towards Nyanza, where you will enjoy a cultural tour of the King's Museum. you will then head on the Nyungwe Forest National Park. This is home to Chimpanzees and a host of other apes, some of who are endemic to the park. This is also home to several species of birdlife, who live in the continents largest tropical forest. Guided treks will lead you through the experience of a lifetime.

Done with the Forest, you will move on to the shores of Lake Kivu. The lake acts as the border between Rwanda and the DRC. You will enjoy a scenic boat ride as you watch the local singing fishermen wooing fish into their nets. Birds such as the African Fish Eagle and the Malachite Kingfisher, among others, can be seen here, eyes keenly on the lake waters as they wait for fish.

The Volcanoes National Park will be the highlight of the tour. this is the home to the endangered Silver-backed Mountain Gorillas and the golden monkeys. you will spend time with one of the families of the gentle gorilla's. Just don't stare at the males or they could think you are challenging them. The park is also home to several bird species such as falcons, kites, eagles, and weavers.

The Akagera National Park will give you a different type of experience. The park is home to the Big Five among other animals and birds. Enjoy two days of game drives bonding with nature. You can opt for boat rides on Lake Ihema, from where you can meet with hippos and crocodiles, as you watch the birds going about their business in the surrounding landscape.

Are you interested in experiencing alternative Rwanda Wildlife Safari?

Alternative Tour Name:14-day Rwanda Wildlife Experience
Day 1
Day 1 - Arrival In Kigali, Rwanda

On arrival at Kigali International Airport, you will be welcomed to a VIP lounge while we clear your luggage through immigration. You will thereafter meet a Palast Tours representative for a short briefing and trip introduction and then transfer on a 15 min drive to the Kigali Serena Hotel for check in. dinner will be on your own arrangement, though we are happy to recommend depending on your arrival time.

Overnight: Kigali Serena Hotel (BB)

Day 2
Day 2 - Kigali/ Nyungwe National Park

After breakfast, check out and drive south to Nyungwe National Park (8hrs drive).

Nyungwe rain-forest National Park in southern RWANDA is one of the most beautiful and the largest remaining stretch of montane forests in East Africa. It is home to a wide variety of mammals and 13 species of primates including Chimpanzees and large troops of Angola Colobus Monkeys that inhabit her fairytale world of ancient trees, bushes and shrubs species some dating back to the ice ages; all grown over steep and fertile green valleys and ridges surrounded by beautiful tea plantations. Amidst her well maintained hiking trails, guests enjoy regular guided Forest Hikes down to stunning valleys with beautiful waterfalls; Track the semi-habituated family of Chimpanzees at dawn as they de-nest, or track large troops of Black & White Angola Colobus Monkeys in Gisakura or down in the valleys below. Nyungwe is also a bird lovers’ paradise with numerous species including many endemics recorded. A guided Bird Walk from Uwinka will return many species ticked. The adrenaline pumping Nyungwe Canopy Walk, a foot-wide suspension bridge hang over huge pylons across two ridges at 80m above a deep valley’s ground is the only one of its kind in East and Central Africa. With your specialist guide, enjoy stunning views over the forest canopy extending as far as the Virunga volcanoes; and learn about unique canopy species of plants, mammals, birds and butterflies as the bridge sways in the breeze and your heart threatens to pop-out, still amazing anyway. At the adjacent tea plantations, we offer cultural encounters meeting and mingling with local peasant farmers as they harvest tea, an activity they eagerly welcome our guests to participate in as they share their stories. In the evening, you may partake of the tea tasting ceremony offered at Nyungwe Forest Lodge. There is so much to do and love in Nyungwe forest National Park, one of Rwanda’s best kept secrets.

Dinner and overnight: Nyungwe Top View Hotel (FB)

Day 3
Day 3 - Nyungwe Forest National Park / Chimpanzees Tracking And Canopy Walk

After an early breakfast at the lodge, you will head into the forest to track chimpanzees. Chimps are highly sociable creatures, and one of the few primates to form complex communities ranging upwards of 100 individuals. During the day these communities break down into smaller units that forage for food, a behavior that has been dubbed ‘fission-fusion’ by anthropologists. You will get back to the lodge in time for lunch.

This is also the perfect place for birdwatchers. Nyungwe has something of a legendary status among birdwatchers in East Africa, and is by far the country’s top spot for birdwatching with some 300-plus species, which include no fewer than 27 Albertine Rift Valley endemics.

In the afternoon, you will go for the canopy walk. Now’s your chance to relive your Indiana Jones fantasies. The construction of a 160m-long and at times 70m-high canopy walkway is a big draw for visitors after an unusual experience. You won’t encounter much wildlife while on the metallic suspension bridge, but you’ll certainly appreciate the jungle anew from this unique monkey’s-eye perspective. Access to the canopy walkway, which is on the Igishigishigi Trail, involves a preliminary 20- to 30-minute hike from Uwinka.

Dinner and overnight: Nyungwe Top View Hotel (FB)

Day 4
Day 4 - Nyungwe National Park / Visit A Waterfall

After breakfast you will take a walk deep into the rainforest, visiting a waterfall in there for an unforgettable experience. You will get back at the lodge in time for lunch, spending the rest of the afternoon at leisure.

Dinner and overnight: Nyungwe Top View Hotel (FB)

Day 5
Day 5 - Nyungwe Forest National Park – Kibuye

After breakfast at the lodge, you will check out of the hotel and go on a 5-hour drive to Gisenyi. Gisenyi is located along the shores of Lake Kivu. On arrival, you will check into the Hakuna Matata Resort in time for lunch. At 5:30 pm, you will go on a fishing trip boat ride on the Lake Kivu.

The fishing boat ride is done in canoes and as you watch the sun setting over the horizon, you will join the local fishermen rowing and singing traditional tunes said to bring unity and attract the fish. They attach three canoes using poles and then cast the fishing nets into the water. As it gets dark, they use lamps to attract the fish. The fishing trip lasts until 8:30 pm or longer after which you will get back to your hotel for dinner and overnight.

Dinner and overnight: Hakuna Matata Resort (FB)

Day 6
Day 6 - Hiking The Congo Nile Trail

After breakfast, you will go on a hike along the Congo Nile Trail, armed with packed lunches. You will get back to the lodge in the afternoon and you can relax at the lodge.

Dinner and overnight: Hakuna Matata Resort (FB)

Day 7
Day 7 - Volcanoes National Park

After breakfast, you can spend your day at leisure at the hotel. After lunch at the hotel, you will check out and go on a 1-hour drive to Musanze, home to the Volcanoes National Park. This is also home to the endangered Silver backed Mountain Gorilla, the Golden Monkeys, and Mountain Elephants among others.

Volcanoes National Park, which runs along the border with the DRC and Uganda, is home to the Rwandan section of the Virunga’s. Comprising five volcanoes, the Virunga’s are utterly spellbinding and many would argue that this is one of the most exciting national parks in Africa. You will arrive at the Mountain Gorilla View Lodge in time for check-in.

Dinner and overnight: Mountain Gorilla View Lodge (FB)

Rwanda encompasses the Rwanda section of the Virunga Volcanoes, a series of eight volcanic mountains which sit astride the border triangle between Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo and include the still active Nyiragongo and Nyakagezi located in DR Congo. Situated 115kms/2½hrs drive north-west of Kigali and encompassing five of the volcanoes, the park’s 160km² of bamboo montane forest are habitat for the rare and critically endangered Mountain Gorillas of which only approx. 800 members remain in the world! Immortalized in the movie “Gorillas-In-The-Mist” depicting the life and times of American zoologist Dian Fossey who spent almost 20 years from the 60s to the 80s studying the gorillas, they inspire great human curiosity owing to their being massive wild animals that genetically, socially and physically so closely resemble humans.

Other mammals include the beautiful Golden Monkeys, a variety of antelopes, hyenas, bushbucks, and some buffaloes and forest elephants, as well as over 170 species of birds. Of the many gorilla families, 10 have been habituated and opened for controlled Gorilla Tracking, one of the most popular tourist activities. Other activities in and around the park include golden monkey tracking, guided hikes up several of the Volcanoes as well as scenic tours and cultural tours in the outlying areas.

Day 8
Day 8 - Gorillas In The Mist Trekking Experience

You will have an early morning breakfast, departing for the park headquarters for briefing and being assigned into gorilla groups complete with rangers. You will then trek through the Volcanoes National Park depending on where the gorillas are, on your gorilla trek.. You will arrive back at your lodge in time for lunch. After lunch, you will visit the Ibyi’Iwacu Ex-Poachers Cultural Village for a Rwandan cultural experience.

Situated in Kinigi at the foothills of the Sabyinyo Volcano, 'ex-Poachers' as it is popularly referred to, is an award winning conservation initiative where former poachers were persuaded to desist from poaching and instead come together to form this replica of a Rwandan traditional village with a king’s palace and four traditional huts where they showcase aspects of Rwandan culture, traditions and customs and earn a living as conservationists. On arrival at the village, guests are welcomed with cultural drums, song and dance then led by a village guide through the various exhibitions including traditional rural life, cookery and foods, weaving, grinding, fire-making, a traditional healer with a herbal and spiritual medicine’s ‘laboratory’, archery, javelin, a blacksmith and architecture, Rwandan kingship, palace life and coronations as well as the villagers’ previous life as poachers and their new found passion in conservation and how they have benefited. At the end of the tour, you will have an opportunity to learn a few steps and moves in the very captivating Rwanda cultural dance as well as buy some local curios and crafts including the popular agaseke (traditional baskets), calabashes, hammocks, traditional wooden crockery, dancing bows, arrows and beautiful drums of all sizes. You will return to your lodge for dinner and overnight.

Dinner and overnight: Mountain Gorilla View Lodge (FB)

Day 9
Day 9 - Golden Monkeys Trekking Experience/ Kigali

Early breakfast at the lodge. At 6:40 in the morning, you will set off on your golden monkey trekking experience, stopping by the park headquarters for briefing and assigning of guides. After the trekking experience, you will return to the lodge for lunch. In the afternoon you can enjoy the activities at the lodge, paid directly to the lodge.

Dinner & Overnight: Mountain Gorilla View Lodge (FB)

Volcanoes National Park protects the steep slopes of this magnificent mountain range - home of the rare mountain gorilla - and the rich mosaic of montane ecosystems, which embrace evergreen and bamboo forest, open grassland, swamp and heath. The high point of the trek will be spending an hour with the remarkably peaceful gorillas despite their size and appearance, as they go about their daily life: feeding, playing, resting, grooming and raising their young.

Day 10
Day 10 - Mt. Bisoke Hiking Experience

After breakfast, you will go on a Mt. Bisoke hike, going to the top to see the breathtaking crater lake. You will get back to the lodge in time for lunch, and in then in the afternoon, you will go canoeing on the Mukunagwa River. You will arrive back at your lodge in time for dinner.

Dinner & Overnight: Mountain Gorilla View Lodge (FB)

Day 11
Day 11 - Volcanoes National Park/ Kigali / Akagera National Park

After breakfast, you will check out of the lodge and go on a 3-hour drive to Kigali. You will have lunch in Kigali before embarking on a 2-hour drive to Akagera National Park, arriving the Ruzizi Tented Camp in time for check in and dinner. Akagera National Park is located in the east of Rwanda along the border with Tanzania. It is named after the Akagera River that flows along its eastern boundary and feeds into a labyrinth of lakes. The rolling hills of acacia woodland coupled with scattered grassland and swamp-fringed lakes along the watercourse combine to create a park of breathtaking beauty.

The Ruzizi Tented Camp, which opened in November 2012, is tucked away in the riverine forest on the edge of Akagera's largest lake, Lake Ihema. Sheltered by large trees and swaying palms, the camp is a cool, calm and quiet retreat in a spectacular setting. The camp offers seven en-suite tents dotted along the forested lake edge featuring a comfortable queen or large twin bed and a walk-through closet leading to a private bathroom. They are spaced on either side of a thatched reception area with a lounge, bar and dining room. Each tent is accessible by a wooden boardwalk from the reception. The camp is powered entirely by solar power, with a solar-powered hot water system.

Dinner and overnight at Ruzizi Tented Camp (dinner included).

Day 12
Day 12 - Akagera National Park Wildlife Experience

Full day spent in Akagera with morning and afternoon game viewing and bird watching drives in search of lions, rhinos, elephants, buffalo, hippos, crocodiles, many species of antelopes, hyenas, giraffe, zebra and even leopard although it is quite elusive.

Optional activities at extra charge:

• Guided nature/bush walks and

• Boat ride on Lake Ihema.

Dinner and overnight at Ruzizi Tented Camp (FB).

Day 13
Day 13 - Akagera National Park Wildlife Experience

Full day spent in Akagera with morning and afternoon game viewing and bird watching drives in search of lions, rhinos, elephants, buffalo, hippos, crocodiles, many species of antelopes, hyenas, giraffe, zebra and even leopard although it is quite elusive. Optional activities at extra charge: • Guided nature/bush walks and • Boat ride on Lake Ihema. Dinner and overnight at Ruzizi Tented Camp (FB).

Day 14
Day 14 - Departure

After breakfast, you will be transferred back to Kigali and then continue to the airport for your international departure flight.

Hippos, Lions, Rhinos, Elephants

What is included?

  • Car hire with a professional driver guide
  • All transport as per program
  • All meals as per program
  • Accommodation as per program
  • All activities mentioned as per program
  • Evacuation cover
  • All taxes

What is not included?

  • Gorilla permits @$1,500 per person per trek
  • Golden monkey permits @$100 per person per trek
  • Chimpanzee permits @$90 per person per trek
  • Canopy walk permits @$60 per person per walk
  • Tropical waterfall permits @$50 per person per visit
  • Mt. Bisoke permits @$75 per person
  • Meals not mentioned in the program
  • International flight to & from Kigali
  • Gratuities to driver-guides, souvenir shopping, things of a personal nature, etc
  • Other unspecified costs in the itinerary

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Why book with Palast Tour and Travels in Rwanda?

We offer customized tours which are crafted with you in mind. We take your needs into consideration to give you the experience of a lifetime. Our consultants have years of experience, have extreme attention to detail, and their response time to queries is very fast. We strive to answer all queries within 12 hours.

Where can I store my valuables while on tour?

Tours are typically safe and you should not be overly concerned for safety of valuables. However, continue to practice normal precautions and do not flash and leave valuables out in the open. We strongly recommend that valuables which are not necessary for your trip should be left at home. You may also choose to store smaller valuables in the accommodations’ office.

What is the Climate in Rwanda?

RWANDA is located just south of the equator and as a result the tropical climate does not change much throughout the year. There are frequent rains all year round. The average daytime temperatures in Rwanda are about 75 degrees Fahrenheit while nighttime temperatures can drop in to the low 50s. The country has two rainy seasons: March-May and September-December, and two dry seasons: June-August and January-February.

Do I need vaccination when travelling to Rwanda? Is Rwanda Malaria free?

Yes, RWANDA falls into a YELLOW FEVER region of Africa. It is imperative that you obtain a YELLOW FEVER vaccination at least 10 days prior to arrival in a yellow fever region. Failure to produce an official YELLOW FEVER vaccination certificate upon arrival in RWANDA may result in you being denied entry. Additionally, other countries may deny entry or re-entry without proof of YELLOW FEVER vaccination after a visit to a YELLOW FEVER region. We highly recommend that you take precautions against MALARIA. Your physician will be able to assist you with a prescription for prophylaxis for MALARIA prior to your arrival in the MALARIA infested area.

Should I bring mosquito and bugs repellent? Would you recommend malaria medications?

It is strongly recommended that you bring your preference of insect or mosquito repellent. Especially in the early morning and evenings, mosquitoes can be present. Some flies and ticks can also be a nuisance depending on the geographical location. Yes, because malaria is common in East Africa. We recommend you consult your local travel clinic or personal physician for the most appropriate anti malaria medication for you. We also recommend you take some insect repellent.

What is the currency in Rwanda and Can I use credit card?

RWANDA’S unit of currency is the RWANDA Franc denoted by the symbol RWF. Since the advent of COVID, it is better to do cashless payments, which includes the use of credit cards and mobile money.

What type of transportation is used in Palast Tour and travel?

We make use of reconstructed 4×4 safari vehicles (i.e. Toyota Land cruisers),complete with cooler boxes and WiFi. which have been designed to conquer the ever demanding road conditions in East Africa. All vehicles have pop-up roofs that can be opened during game drives and a window seat is guaranteed for each guest.You may also choose to store smaller valuables in the Rwanda Expeditions office

Do I need a converter/adapter for the electricity?

Rwanda uses 230/240 volts at 50 Hz and a 2-pin (round) socket is required. Travelers will need a voltage converter for 110 volt devices. It is best to travel with your own adapters. Even if they do not have power, most camps or lodges, can make arrangements for recharging batteries. Consult your guide if needed.

Where do I spend the night? What are the of accommodations like?

In Rwanda we have different types of safari lodges, from extreme high end down to backpacker. One constant though, is that they are all clean, comfortable, and ideally located to enjoy your safari experience. Nights are spent on different accommodations depending on the section of the safaris. Parks offer Luxury Lodges and Camps, as well as Campsites if on a camping safari or thereof. If on a camping safari, clients are provided with spacious two-man dome tents (2.1 x 2.1 m) that are equipped with mosquito nets and comfortable 5 cm thick sleeping mats.

Are these trips suitable for Kids?

No. Although there are many great destinations in Africa for children, the nature of Gorilla Tracking, and the government restrictions, mandate the participants be at least 15 years of age at the time of travel.

How Do I get to the Hotel from Airport when I arrive?

Palast VIP Greet & Assist will help you through customs as you relax in a lounge. A Palast Tours & Travel driver/guide will then transfer you to your hotel.

How far in advance should I book?

You can book your Rwanda/Uganda tour at any time and generally the earlier you book, the better. Booking early (10-12 months or more recommended) is especially important for travelers visiting during the height of the dry season, Dec-Feb or June-Sept, as many of these departures fill up months in advance. Travelers visiting outside of these busy months can often book a bit more last minute, though a 4-6 month notice is still recommended. Further, we usually recommend that you wait to book your international flights until after your tour is confirmed. The sooner that we arrange your tour, the sooner that you can take advantage of flight deals as they become available. Gorilla Tracking and Permits Only a limited number of permits are available in each gorilla park per day. It is therefore essential to book well in advance. Permits need to be paid for at the time of the initial safari booking so that they can be purchased immediately. Delay in payment can result in permits not being secured. To protect gorillas from disease, no children under 15 or people with illnesses may go tracking. Trackers must be fit and in good health as tracking in thick forest at heights up to 3,000m traversing steep-sided mountains and ravines can be tough, arduous and wet. Permits are non-refundable. Gorilla viewing can be denied at short notice because of national park or border closures, security changes or gorillas going out of range. In such circumstances refunds are at the discretion of the authority and are not within the company's control. Obtaining a gorilla permit therefore is not a guarantee of seeing a gorilla. One hour is allowed with the gorillas, at a distance of at least 7 meters. Flash photography is not allowed. Personal DVD recorders are allowed.

What do I need to pack for the trip?

You will receive a detailed packing list specific to your tour after you book. A water/windproof jacket, fleece, and sun protection are recommended for all Rwanda/Uganda tours. Fast-drying clothes that can be layered work best for these areas. On Safari, luggage should be limited to two items of baggage per person. Follow this link to see what you need to pack for your safari and if you will have further questions please feel free to contact us.

Di I need sunscreen while on safari?

It is highly recommended that you bring your preferred form of sun protection while on safari. This can include SPF30 or higher sunblock, hats, sunglasses, and thin long-sleeve shirts and pants. Because East Africa lies along the equator, UV rays are strong.

Are safari in Rwanda and East Africa safe?

You bet they are. All these countries are among Africa’s most stable countries. You’ll be welcomed by the friendly people and always taken care of by attentive staff. After full days of wildlife viewing, rest up at handpicked camps and lodges, which offer authentic African charm and modern-day conveniences.

Are tour dates flexible?

YES. Please contact us if you are not able to travel on the set departure dates listed on-line. Most tours can be arranged on alternative departure dates for a minimum of two travelers as long as lodges/ hotels are available.

Are these trips good choice for Solo travelers?

YES. Please contact us if you are not able to travel on the set departure dates listed on-line. Most tours can be arranged on alternative departure dates for a minimum of two travelers as long as lodges/ hotels are available.

What typical age range for these tours?

Our Africa tours tend to attract all ages. The more adventurous trekking tours tend to attract a slightly younger group (mostly 20s-40s), but we've also had active 70 year olds do great on these treks so don't let age discourage you if you are fit and healthy. Expect a wide range of ages and ask your trip planner if you are curious about the demographics for a particular departure.

What meals are provided and what kind of food do I expect?

The tour is run on a full-board basis and meals are included as indicated in the itinerary. Mineral water is also provided, whereas all other beverages (soft drinks & alcohol) are excluded and on your own account. Breakfast can include eggs, sausages or bacon and toast and jam. Coffee, tea and hot chocolate are also provided. Lunch-boxes are provided for lunch and are enjoyed en-route at a picnic spot. These usually contain sandwiches, boiled eggs and fruits or grilled chicken thighs.Dinner is freshly cooked and meals consist of meat or fish and some sort of starch (pasta, rice, potatoes etc.) and vegetables. Please let us know if you have any special dietary requirements or food allergies and we will do our utmost to cater for them (only possible with advanced notification)

Do I need money while on safari?

Yes, we suggest that you bring some spending money for drinks, snacks, souvenirs and tips. Please only bring USD bills that have been printed after 2006 as earlier dated bills will not be accepted

You can send your enquiry via the form below.


14 Days

Price & Availability

From
USD6,842 / per person
Based on twin/double room
This tour is operated by: Palast Tours & Travel

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Tour Facts

  • Volcanoes National Park, Nyungwe National Park, Akagera National Park, Lake Kivu
  • On Request
  • Multi-Day Tour
  • Mammals
  • 2 to 6 pax
  • 14 days
  • December to March, June to September,
  • +15 years
  • Leisurely
  • English/French/German
  • Kigali International Airport
  • Kigali International Airport