9-Day Trip into Rwanda - Exploring Akagera, Volcanoes, Nyungwe
9 days Itinerary
1:Arrive Kigali Airport early, pick up and transfer to Akagera NP.
We hope your flight is scheduled for an early landing (before 16:00). Upon arrival at Kigali Int’l Airport, you will be received by the assigned English-speaking professional driver-guide and transfer to accommodation in/close Akagera National Park. Relatively warm and low-lying, Akagera National Park comprises savannah, acacia woodlands, patches of thick forest, wetland and a dozen lakes. Akagera is a true success story of conservation effort. With a family of lions from South Africa settled in and breeding successfully and eastern black rhinos reintroduced, the park boasts of big 5 sighting. You will arrive, check in at the accommodation, relax. Optional (extra cost): If interested and time allows, you can proceed for a breathtaking night game drive.
2:Morning game drive and afternoon boat trip on Lake Ihema.
Have breakfast and proceed out for the morning game drive. Be on the look for Akagera inhabitants including; lions, rhinos, buffaloes, Burchall's zebras, giraffes, impalas and topi (known as tsessebe in Southern Africa), bushbucks, among others. Return to the accommodation for lunch and then go for the afternoon boat safari in Lake Ihema. During the boat safari, expect to see large pods of hippos and crocodiles. The boat safari also gives you a chance to have clear view of more big games including buffalo and elephants that tend to gather at the shores to drink water.
3:Exit Akagera and transfer to accommodation in (near) Volcanoes NP.
Enjoy a relaxed breakfast at the accommodation and then hit the road to Volcanoes NP. Volcanoes National Park lies in northwestern Rwanda and borders Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda. With a strenuous day ahead, you will reach and just check into your accommodation and relax. Later, enjoy your dinner plus the overnight stay.
4:Gorilla trekking or Mount Bisoke hike and afternoon community, Cultural experience.
This morning, you will have breakfast and move to the Rangers’ Point where you will receive briefing. From the briefing, you will proceed for the gorilla encounter (adventure) in the Volcanoes National Park. Alternative: If not interested in gorilla trekking, you can proceed out to hike Mount Bisoke (3711 metres above sea). The summit will reward you with the sight of a beautiful crater lake. Return to the accommodation for some rest and later you can move out to encounter the local community. Note: Gorilla permits go for USD 1,500 per person and it’s not included in the cost below.
5:Golden monkey trekking and afternoon explore Twin Lakes - canoeing.
Golden monkeys trekking takes place in Volcanoes National Park and at the same time (7:00 am) just like gorilla trekking. These rare monkey species are also listed as endangered and Volcanoes NP currently has two habituated groups that are available for trekking by visitors. The exercise starts with a short briefing from the park ranger at the RDB Office. Thereafter, you will proceed to trek the golden monkeys through the rainforest of the volcanoes NP. Return to the accommodation for some rest and lunch. Later, move out to explore the Twin Lakes – canoeing.
6:Exit Volcanoes, and transfer to Nyungwe Forest National Park.
Enjoy a relaxed breakfast and then embark on a transfer to Nyungwe Forest National Park. Filled with stunning beauty, Nyungwe in southwestern part of Rwanda is not a place to miss on a Rwanda safari offering memorable wildlife experiences. A visit to Nyungwe takes you through the great natural forest comprising of ancient trees which have all favored the inhabitation of a number of primates including chimpanzees, black & white colobus monkeys among others. The drive is a bit longer but incredibly scenic, passing through villages, lush green countryside. You won’t get bored at all.
7:Undertake chimp trekking and the afternoon canopy walk experience.
Sheltering the highest population of chimpanzees in Rwanda (roughly 400), Chimpanzee trekking is a major activity done in Nyungwe Forest National Park. Have your breakfast and transfer to the trekking point where you will first receive some briefing on the dos and don’ts during chimp trekking. Thereafter, enter the forest to encounter these fascinating and human-like primates firsthand in their natural habitat.
Return to the accommodation for lunch and some rest before going out again for the canopy walk experience. The two hours walk starts and ends at the park’s headquarters – Uwinka information center. Travelers walk on the built trail which hangs 60 meters above the forest rewarding them with an aerial view of the national park, wildlife, adjacent communities, Virunga volcanoes and attractions in the neighboring countries.
8:Hiking Isumo Falls trail and later move out for tea tour.
Enjoy breakfast and proceed out to explore the Isumo Waterfalls trail. The trail is 10.6 kilometer - taking approx. 4hours to trek. On your way to the waterfalls, you will encounter ferns along the trail and also encounter a variety of bird species such as Ruwenzori turaco and monkeys in the patches of the forest along the way. From there, you will return for some rest at the accommodation. Later, move out to explore the nearby tea plantation then retire to the accommodation for dinner and overnight rest.