Rwanda Wildlife Trail
Day 1: KIGALI
On arrival at Kigali International Airport, met by a CATS Africa representative and transferred to Galaxy Hotel for check-in. Rest evening at leisure at your hotel, with dinner on own account. Overnight at GALAXY HOTEL (Bed & Breakfast).
Day 2: KIGALI/NYUNGWE FOREST NATIONAL PARK
After an early breakfast at the hotel, depart and drive south-wards of Rwanda – to the historical towns of Nyanza and Butare for a short tour of their attractions. At the end of the tour, enjoy lunch at a Butare hotel or restaurant. After lunch, continue on your journey further south-wards, and then westwards and through the Nyungwe Forest, to arrive at your Nyungwe hotel the early evening. Evening at leisure Dinner and overnight at TOP VIEW HILL HOTEL (Full Board).
Day 3: NYUNGWE FOREST NATIONAL PARK
After an early breakfast, transferred to the park office, for registration of your Chimpanzee trekking.
About 500 chimpanzees live in the Nyungwe Forest. The trekking can take anything from a few hours to full day depending on where the chimpanzees are. Take note that it is not guaranteed to see the chimps as they are unpredictable and can move long distances in one day.
At the end of the chimps trek, return to your hotel/lodge for freshening up and lunch. Afternoon is at leisure – for optional activities, such as the Canopy Adventure Hike. After the hike, return to your hotel/lodge – for freshening up and evening at leisure. Dinner and overnight at TOP VIEW HILL HOTEL (Full Board).
Day 4: NYUNGWE FOREST NATIONAL PARK/VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK
After breakfast at the hotel, depart to Nyungwe Forest and take the scenic drive along and parallel to the shores of Lake Kivu to the central Lake Kivu town of Kibuye. Arrive in Kibuye in the mid-morning, for a brief relaxation on the lake-shore, before lunch at a Kibuye hotel.
(Optional activities: Boat Ride; 2-Hour Boat Excursion to the Napoleon Island (Bat Island ) – residence of a large colony of bats); Swimming in the Lake; Water Sports, e.t.c.)
After lunch, depart and drive eastwards and then north-eastwards, to the Volcanoes Mountains region. Arrive at your volcanoes lodge in the early evening, for check-in. Evening is at leisure. Dinner and overnight at MOUNTAIN GORILLA VIEW LODGE (Full Board).
Day 5: VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK
After an early breakfast, transferred to the park headquarters for the gorilla trek registration and allocation of the particular gorilla family to visit. After registration and allocation of a gorilla family, the trekkers are put into groups – each group’s Lead Guide briefs the trekkers of the trekking procedures as well as the“do’s and don’ts” while in the presence of gorillas. After the briefing, trekkers return to their respective vehicles for the drive up the mountain to the trek start point, or Trail-Head.
Your trek starts in the cultivated foothills of the Virunga’s offering stirring views in all directions. Trekking can take from two to six or more hours if the gorillas move before the park rangers locate them the next morning. The guides stop frequently to allow trekkers a chance to rest and take photos along the way. When it enters the national park, trekkers will be immersed in the mysterious intimacy of the rainforest, alive with the colorful bird calls, chattering golden monkeys, littered with fresh spoor of the mountains’ elusive buffalo and elephant. Through gaps in the canopy, the magnificent peaks are glimpsed, among the highest in Africa yet easily accessible, beckon an ascent. Weaving through overhanging vines, moss-covered hagenia trees and giant lobelias that thrive in the tropical climate, our experienced trackers, who have spent their entire lives in or close to this forest, soon bring us up close with one of the Gorilla families. Upon sighting the gorillas, you will stay with them for a magical one-hour as they go about their daily life, feeding, playing, resting; raising their young. Coming face to face with a giant silverback must truly be one of the greatest wildlife experiences on earth! The Ultimate Experience!!
At the end of the trek, rejoin your driver-guide and transfer back to your lodge for freshening-up and lunch. Afternoon is at leisure – to simply relax at your lodge, or take up one of the optional activities, such as the Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village visit. Rest of the afternoon and evening at leisure at your lodge, with dinner included. Dinner and overnight at MOUNTAIN GORILLA VIEW LODGE (Full Board).
Day 6: VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK
Breakfast at your lodge. Morning at leisure – one with nature under the shadows of the volcanoes mountains, with opportunity for a second gorilla trek or other of the optional activities available;or take up the Golden Monkey trekking.
For the Golden Monkey Trek: Early breakfast at your lodge. You then be transferred to the park headquarters for registration of your Golden Monkey trek. Trekking to see the Golden Monkeys is another highlight of Volcanoes National Park. The Golden Monkey is a local sub-species of the widespread Sykes Monkey, also known as the “Blue Monkey” and is endemic to the high altitude forests of the Volcanoes National Park area. The monkeys are playful and inquisitive and often spend their time leaping from bamboo branches or frolicking on the forest floor. Just as with the Mountain Gorillas, visitors are permitted to stay for only 1 hour with the Golden Monkeys.
At the end of the trek, rejoin your driver-guide and transfer back to your lodge for freshening-up and lunch. Afternoon is at leisure – to simply relax at your lodge, or take up another one of the optional activities, such as a visit of the spectacularly beautiful and picturesque Twin Lakes of Burera & Ruhondo. Rest of the afternoon and evening at leisure at your lodge. Dinner and overnight at MOUNTAIN GORILLA VIEW LODGE (full board).
Day 7: VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK/AKAGERA NATIONAL PARK
After breakfast at your lodge, drive back to Kigali arriving in the early afternoon – for lunch at one of Kigali’s popular restaurants. After lunch, depart and drive eastwards, towards the border with Tanzania, to the Akagera National Park. Arrive in the park in the late afternoon, for check-in at your lodge. Evening at leisure or with optional activities available which include- sunset boat ride on Lake Ihema and night game drives Dinner and overnight at AKAGERA GAME LODGE (full board).www.akageralodge.com
Day 8: AKAGERA NATIONAL PARK
Early breakfast at your lodge, after which you depart and drive to the northern part of the park for full-day of game-viewing and wildlife photography. Enjoy picnic/packed lunch (provided by your lodge), in-between your game-viewing. Late afternoon, drive back to your lodge – for freshening up and a well-deserved rest. Evening at leisure at your lodge, with dinner included. Dinner and overnight at AKAGERA GAME LODGE (full board).
Day 9: AKAGERA NATIONAL PARK/KIGALI
After breakfast at your lodge, drive back to Kigali – to an early lunch at the Hotel Mille Collines – depicted in the film “Hotel Rwanda”; After lunch, enjoy an orientation/ sight-seeing tour of Kigali City, including the Genocide Memorial Center, and the Kadt House (Museum of Natural History). Later in the afternoon or evening, you will be transferred to the Kigali International Airport, for your evening outbound flight.