Except for Uganda, no other country in Africa attracts as many primate lovers as Rwanda. There is a good reason to that. In this tropical highland, you stand over 70% chances of encountering endangered apes like gorillas, golden monkeys and chimps. This is partly thanks to the aggressive conservation initiatives that have zeroed down the poaching rate at Volcanoes National Park and Nyungwe N/P, both of which you will explore during this 6 day safari. You will also visit Kimironko Market, a community empowering source of livelihood in Kigali City.
DAY 1: Arrive Kigali, Rwanda and Kigali City tour
On arrival at Kigali International Airport, our driver/guide will transfer you to Kigali were you city tour will begin. Among the national heritage sights you will visit include Nyamata Genocide Church, Kimironko Market, Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre, Inema Arts Center, and Campaign Against Genocide Museum (CAG). Each of these places offers you a chance to experience the history of this peace-loving country.
After your tour, you will set off for Nyungwe National Park along well paved roads that meander along rolling hills.
Overnight: Nyungwe Top View Hotel
This lodge commands incredible views of Nyungwe forest area thanks to its location atop one of the hills overlooking it.
DAY 2: Chimpanzee Trekking in Nyungwe National Park
The view, the smell and the sound of Nyungwe’s forest is a real treat for the senses, it will set your nerve endings on fire. It is the largest block of montane forest in East and Central Africa, covering over 1000 square kilometers. In the company of a ranger guide who is well versed with the map of the forest, you will walk through the tangles and grades to get to a good viewing place for chimps. Having been habituated, they are cooperative and accommodative to visitors. They are omnivores which means they spend much of the day munching fruit, leaves, seeds, roots and nuts.
It is such a cool experience to hear them drumming the tree trunks. The males never tire humming aloud and jumping around as they attempt to get attention of females, with the intent of getting mating favours.
Later you will visit the Gisakura tea estate or the canopy walk in Nyungwe.
Its midpoint provides a view like no other. You will have dreamy views over the southern region and look into the depths of the park. Throughout your stay, you will feel a refreshing breeze sweep over you.
Overnight stay at Nyungwe Top View Hotel
DAY 3: Drive to Volcanoes National Park to visit Diana Fossey museum
After breakfast. You will be driven to Volcanoes national park via Lake Kivu to visit the Diana Fossey Museum and the Dian Fossey graveyard at Karisoke Research Center.
These two experiences provide brief hikes and an opportunity for travelers understand how Dianne Fossey sacrificed her life to save the rare mountain gorillas from extinction. She is an America primatologist whose heroism and great love for the mountain gorillas rubbed poachers the wrong way. This ended up costing her life after she was killed in cold blood in December 26, 1985, at 53 years.
The 1-3 hours hike to the graves is not as strenuous as hiking the Virunga volcanoes considering that the landscape is less steep. There is a chance that you might run into gorillas as they roam the forest in search for food.
DAY 4: Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes National park
Watching the subtle mountain gorillas in this park is like staring at yourself in the mirror because their sense of hearing, smelling and touch is similar to humans. The only difference is that while your legs are longer than your arms, in gorillas the reverse is true. Why? Their day to day survival is dependent on climbing branches with the intent of harvesting wild fruits and edible vegetation.
The intelligence of these apes can be seen in the way they express affection by grooming each other by carefully inspecting each other’s hair to remove dirt, parasites and dead skin. It is such a captivating experience to watch mothers as they carry their babies on their backs. You are also likely to see juveniles improving their fighting skills by wrestling down each other. It's hard to forget how juveniles laugh whenever tickled by their baby sitters, the blackbacks.
The gorilla adventure here lasts 1-6 hours of which one hour is meant for your interaction with the gorillas as you observe them.
DAY 5: Golden Monkey Trekking
Lots of travelers who have been to Volcanoes cannot say enough great things about this half day adventure. It is simply amazing to have a group of these fun loving primates around and above you, humming, swinging from the branches and climbing up the trees. The trek itself is so captivating, you will catch sight of countless bird species and other monkey species.
DAY 6: Drive to Kigali
Your driver guide will transfer you back to Kigali, and if time permits you will visit different souvenir shops before proceeding to the airport for your departure flight.