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8-Day Rwanda Cultural Safari, Chimpanzee, and Gorilla Trekking


This meticulously crafted 8-day Rwanda safari offers participants a unique blend of cultural exploration, chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest National Park, and an awe-inspiring gorilla trekking adventure in Volcanoes National Park. Throughout the journey, participants will gain insight into Rwanda’s rich cultural heritage while observing the country’s most iconic primates in their natural habitats.

Duration: 8 Days
Places to Visit: Kigali, Nyungwe Forest National Park, Lake Kivu, Volcanoes National Park


Day 1: Arrival in Kigali

Upon arrival at Kigali International Airport, a knowledgeable guide will warmly welcome participants and provide a brief introduction to Rwanda’s history and culture. Transfer to the hotel for check-in and overnight stay.
Accommodation: Kigali Serena Hotel

Day 2: Kigali City Tour and Cultural Experience

Begin the day with a visit to the Kigali Genocide Memorial, which commemorates the 1994 Rwandan Genocide and serves as a poignant reminder of the country’s tragic history. The memorial features exhibits, archives, and gardens dedicated to the memory of the victims.

Next, explore Kigali’s vibrant markets, such as the Kimironko Market, where participants can interact with locals and learn about traditional Rwandan crafts, textiles, and cuisine. Visit the Inema Arts Center to appreciate contemporary Rwandan art and observe artists at work.

In the afternoon, participate in a traditional Rwandan cooking class, learning to prepare dishes such as “ugali” (a staple made from maize flour) and “isombe” (a dish made from cassava leaves). Enjoy the prepared meal while engaging in conversations about Rwandan food culture.
Accommodation: Kigali Serena Hotel

Day 3: Kigali – Nyungwe Forest National Park

Distance: 225km/4-5hrs drive
After breakfast, depart Kigali and drive to Nyungwe Forest National Park, home to 13 primate species, including chimpanzees and Rwenzori colobus monkeys. Along the way, stop at the King’s Palace Museum in Nyanza, the former residence of King Mutara III Rudahigwa. The museum offers insights into Rwanda’s pre-colonial history and the traditional Rwandan monarchy.

Upon arrival at Nyungwe, check into the lodge and attend a briefing about the park’s unique biodiversity and the chimpanzee trekking experience.
Accommodation: One&Only Nyungwe House

Day 4: Chimpanzee Trekking in Nyungwe Forest National Park

After an early breakfast, set out on a chimpanzee trekking adventure in Nyungwe Forest. Accompanied by expert guides, participants will trek through the forest to locate and observe a habituated chimpanzee community. Nyungwe is home to an estimated 500 chimpanzees, and the trekking experience offers a rare opportunity to witness these fascinating primates in their natural habitat.

In the afternoon, visit the Uwinka Overlook Trail for a canopy walk experience. The 200-meter-long walkway, suspended 50 meters above the forest floor, provides a unique perspective of the forest and its inhabitants.
Accommodation: One&Only Nyungwe House

Day 5: Nyungwe Forest National Park – Lake Kivu

Distance: 100km/2-3hrs drive
After breakfast, depart Nyungwe Forest National Park and drive to Lake Kivu, one of Africa’s Great Lakes. Along the way, stop at the Nyungwe Tea Plantation, the largest tea estate in Rwanda, covering over 1,482 hectares. Learn about the tea production process and sample some of Rwanda’s finest tea varieties.

Upon arrival at Lake Kivu, check into the lodge and spend the afternoon at leisure, enjoying the scenic views of the lake and the surrounding mountains.
Accommodation: Lake Kivu Serena Hotel

Day 6: Lake Kivu – Volcanoes National Park

Distance: 175km/3-4hrs drive
After breakfast, depart Lake Kivu and drive to Volcanoes National Park, home to the critically endangered mountain gorillas. Along the way, visit the Musanze Caves, formed over 65 million years ago by lava flows from nearby volcanoes. The caves hold cultural significance for the local community and were used as a refuge during times of war.

Upon arrival at Volcanoes National Park, check into the lodge and attend a briefing about gorilla trekking etiquette and safety.
Accommodation: Singita Kwitonda Lodge

Day 7: Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes National Park

After an early breakfast, participants will gather at the park headquarters for a briefing before setting out on a gorilla trekking adventure. Led by expert rangers and guides, participants will trek through the misty forests of Volcanoes National Park to locate and observe a habituated gorilla family. The park is home to an estimated 340 mountain gorillas, which is about half of the world’s remaining population.

After spending up to one hour with the gorillas, return to the lodge for relaxation and reflection on this awe-inspiring experience.
Accommodation: Singita Kwitonda Lodge

Day 8: Volcanoes National Park – Kigali – Departure

Distance: 105km/2-3hrs drive
After a leisurely breakfast, depart Volcanoes National Park and return to Kigali. En route, visit the Iby’iwacu Cultural Village, where participants can learn about traditional Rwandan culture through music, dance, and storytelling performances. The village also provides insight into the daily lives of local communities and their efforts to preserve Rwanda’s cultural heritage.

Upon arrival in Kigali, transfer to Kigali International Airport for onward travel plans.

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