Wilderness Safari Tour in Rwanda
On this exciting 10-day tour lose yourself in this African wilderness Rwanda safari. Get to see the Big Five in Akagera, their natural habitat, and later explore Nyungwe and Volcanoes national parks to mingle with the Chimps, gorillas, and other apes. If you are a bird lover, Rwanda is the remaining paradise on this planet. Carry your checklist, binoculars, and camera because you won't be able to get enough of it.
The first experience of this wilderness Rwanda safari will be a visit to Akagera National Park. Akagera is home to the Big Five animals which include the Lions, Leopards, Elephants, Rhinos, and Buffaloes. It is also home to several species of antelopes, birds, and reptiles like crocodiles.
Nyanza town will take you on a historical tour as you visit the Kings Palace Museum and the Ethnographic Museum. You will then drive to Nyungwe, home to more than 360 species of birds, chimpanzees, colobus monkeys, and many other species of apes. The Nyungwe Forest is the largest tropical rain forest in Africa.
This wilderness Rwanda tour will take you to Lake Kivu. Lake Kivu has awesome sceneries when you are on your boat ride. Watch as the African Fish Eagles and King Fishers go about their fishing escapades besides the local singing fishermen, who are also eager to make a catch.
The Volcanoes National Park in the Virunga Mountains is home to the endangered mountain gorilla's, and the golden monkeys. Spread through Rwanda, Uganda, and the DRC, the Virunga's are the only place that you can find gorilla's in the world. Spend time with the gentle giants, while also marking as many birds as you possibly can. So why not experience this exciting wilderness Rwanda safari?
Wilderness Rwanda Tour Highlights:
- Wildlife in Akagera National Park
- Chimpanzee and colobus monkey tracking in Nyungwe National Park
- Canopy walkway experience above the tropical Nyungwe Forest
- Night fishing on Lake Kivu
- Gorilla and golden monkey tracking
If you’d prefer taking a longer tour, why not try this 14-Days Rwanda Wildlife Experience Tour?
Alternative Tour Name: 10-day Rwanda Wilderness Experience
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 arrangements, though we are happy to recommend depending on your arrival time.
Overnight: Kigali Serena Hotel (BB)
Enjoy morning breakfast before your checkout. At 10:00 am depart from Kigali to Akagera National Park with your driver guide/s (2hrs drive). 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. You will arrive the Ruzizi Tented Camp in time for lunch (included).
At 3:00pm take an afternoon boat ride on Lake Ihema that will reward you with views of a large number of hippos, huge Nile crocodiles and a variety of bird species. Bird-lovers will be entertained by the majestic African fish eagles and the large concentration of water birds. In the marshes, keep an eye out for the papyrus gonolek and the often sought-after shoebill stork, the cormorants, and many more.
Have your morning breakfast and checkout You will be joined by a park guide and embark on your fullday game drive. You may enjoy viewing many animals such as elephant, buffalo, giraffe, zebra and antelopes that frequent the open plains within the park with chances to view the big cats of the park. Picnic snacks and a bush packed lunch will be served in the park before exit the park heading back to Kigali.
A drive of approximately 2-hours after exiting the Park will take you back to Kigali and arrive for dinner at the renowned on the African Specialty cuisine Restaurant, the Repub Lounge before checking in to Kigali Serena Hotel for another night.
Overnight at Kigali Serena Hotel (BB)
After breakfast, you will check out of the hotel for a nearly 6-hour drive to Nyungwe Forest National Park. Nyungwe Forest is located in southern Rwanda and is home to different species of birds and primates such as chimpanzees and colobus monkeys. Along the way you will visit the Kings Palace Museum, which is two hours into your drive.
Situated on a hill 2-km southwest of Nyanza town, this fascinating museum is less about ancient history and more about royal residences. The displays center on a replica king's ‘palace’. You will go on a guided tour that helps explain some of the architectural idiosyncrasies inside the royal compound, including why the royal beer brewer’s hut had an entrance without a lip, and other curiosities such as why the woman who looked after the king’s milk was never able to marry.
You will then make a stopover for lunch in Huye, visit the Ethnographic Museum. This outstanding museum was given to the city as a gift by Belgium in 1989 to commemorate 25 years of independence. While the building itself is certainly one of the most beautiful structures in the city, the museum wins’ top marks for having one of the best ethnological and archaeological collections in the entire region. From there, you will proceed to Nyungwe, checking in to the One & Only Nyungwe House for dinner and overnight.
Dinner and overnight: One & Only Nyungwe House (FB)
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: One & Only Nyungwe House (FB)
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 Lake Kivu Serena 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: Lake Kivu Serena (FB)
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 Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge in time for check-in.
Dinner and overnight: Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge (FB)
Early breakfast at the lodge. At 6:40 in the morning, you will set off for your golden monkey experience, stopping by the park headquarters, a short drive away, for briefing and assigning of a guide. After the golden monkey trekking experience, you will return to the lodge for lunch. In the afternoon you will visit ex-poacher’s cultural village, Gorilla Guardians. This is a non-profit umbrella organization that aims at improving the lives of reformed poachers and communities around Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park through the provision of conservation incentives, supporting community enterprise development and livelihood-based projects.
Dinner and overnight: Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge (FB)
Once again you will have an early morning breakfast, departing for the park headquarters at 6:40 am for briefing and being assigned into gorilla groups complete with rangers. You will then trek through the Volcanoes National Park for a face to face encounter with the gorillas in the mist. You will arrive back at your lodge in time for lunch. In the afternoon can relax around the lodge with the option of taking part in lodge activities, paid for directly at the lodge.
Dinner and overnight: Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge (FB)
After breakfast, you will check out of the lodge and go on a 3-hour drive to Kigali. After lunch at the Kigali Java House, you will go on an afternoon city tour where you can visit places like the Kimironko local market. You will also go on a souvenir shopping expedition, where you can buy souvenirs, among other things. The afternoon activities will depend on your departure flight details.
Some of the wildlife expected to see on this trip are:
Hippos, Lions, Rhinos, Elephants, Birds, Chimps, Gorilla’s, Golden Monkeys, Crocodiles
What is included?
- All transport as per program
- All meals as per program
- Accommodation as per program
- All mentioned activities
- 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 session
- International flight to & from Kigali
- Gratuities to driver-guides, souvenir shopping, things of a personal nature, etc
- Other unspecified costs in the itinerary
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.
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 areas. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We make use of reconstructed 4×4 safari vehicles (i.e. Toyota Land cruisers),complete with cooler boxes and WiFi with refrigerator for your soft drinks. They 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yes. A solo traveler is welcome to join any set departure date for the safaris. The nature of the programs creates an environment where travelers are coming and going from lodges, but there is always a group activity to participate in.
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.
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)
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