gorilla safaris
gorilla safaris

8 days Rwanda primates safari

This tour takes you to two of Rwanda’s  primates  national parks which include Volcanoes national park for gorilla safari in Rwanda and Nyungwe national park for Chimpanzee trekking tours in Rwanda. This is the perfect Rwanda Safari for those interested in seeing a number of primates.

Day 1 :  Pick up from AIprort and Transfer to Kigali.

On arrival , you will be welcomed  in Rwanda  by a safari guide from AA safaris and Tours Ltd who will brief you  about your primates safari and then  you will take on  a City tour in Kigali. Visit the genocide memorial in Gosozi or Maramba and then later you will be transferred to the hotel of your budget for dinner and overnight at
Budget : Hotel Chez. Lando
Standard :  Hotel des  Mille Collines / Hotel Gorillas/ Umubano Hotel
Luxury :  Kigali Serena hotel

Day 2 : Kigali – Butare – Nyungwe Forest NP.

Take your early morning  breakfast  and leave  for Butare;

Butare is  an intellectual city of Rwanda and  the second largest of Rwanda cities while Kigali holds  most political powers. Also known as Huye, Butare  hosts the National Museum  which  is one of the best source of information on the cultural history of the country and the region. It is sometimes referred to  as  the supreme museum in East Africa. It is also a home to  the National  University of Rwanda, the Ruhande Arboretum, research institutions like the Rwandan National Institute of Scientific Research, and a cathedral.  The Butare national Museum was bestowed in 1989 by the Belgium government. It returned  part of the ethnographic collection obtained during the colonial period. The design and notion of the museum was appreciated in co-operation with the Royal Museum for Central Africa of Tervuren, Belgium.  The modern building has different sections and displays a wide collection of neutral pictures, traditional artifacts, objects, tools and different craft products. Ethnographic objects are assembled mutually according to theme giving superb information on the daily life. Customary earthenware and basketry are still manufactured and belong to the finest handicrafts of the region. Surprisingly, the National Museum stayed untouched during the civil war in 1994.

Along the road to Butare you will pay a visit  to Nyanza (presently Nyabisindu) the former Mwami’s palace (King’s palace) and the base of the feudal kingdom. The palace has been renovated to its 19th century condition and  is an exhibition to a traditional dome that can be evaluated with the Kabaka’s palace of Buganda in Uganda. You will visit the National Museum then later have a thrilling concert of the national ballet with the Intore-dancers.  The performance is considered  by many as one of the highlights of your safari. Lunch is foreseen in Butare.  You will later be transferred to  Nyungwe Forest National park. Your driver-guide  might have to l stop at the Uwinka offices to keep posted on the existence of the semi-habituated groups of chimps and colobus monkeys to help you prepare for  chimpanzee tracking for  the next day.

Dinner and overnight at  the
Budget: Guest House of Gisakura.
Luxury: Nyungwe Forest Lodge

Day 3 : Nyungwe Forest NP Primates walk-

Take Breakfast and then assemble at Uwinka tourist information centre for briefing before you start your hike in Nyungwe forest. to search for colobus Monkeys and other primates.
Nyungwe Forest NP  hosts  25% of the African Primates!  The forest has   craggy and sheer landscape which a high altitude. Good  hiking boots are highly recommended.  On your special interests,  you will have a selection of diverse chances to discover the largest high elevation rainforest of East Africa!  The commonest species  are the large communal troops of Angolan Colobus (Colobus angolensis), which may be over 300 in number. The park is a home to the biggest troops of  Angola Colobuses  than any other place in the world.  One of these groups is semi-habituated and we recommend to start your exploration with a guided primate walk in search of the Angolan Colobus monkeys (black and white Colobus)! Rangers may know where these primates may be found but  the hiking times may vary with their unpredictable movements as they search for food in their habitat. It may be a strenuous walk but rangers always make it more enjoyable and informative by giving you information about the flora and fauna that you encounter while on the walk .

The exploration continues in the afternoon along different beautiful trails available  then encounter  the superb waterfall trail of Gisakura is probably the most thrilling along. The afternoon trek may take  2 up to 3 hours and is a very enjoyable hike that can be managed by any body! If you missed the Angola Colobus in the morning primates trek then  can  try  to trek towards  the tea factory where another troop is hosted.  An encounter is a thrilling moment!

Day 4 : Nyungwe Forest NP Chimpanzee trekking

Take breakfast and go for  chimp tracking experience in Nyungwe! Or  you may opt to indulge in another guided primate trek or trek through one of  the well-maintained trails.

You will observe L’hoest monkeys and blue monkeys around  Uwinka after a less strenuous hike. An orchid garden with over 100 species of Orchids at Uwinka is another feature you shouldn’t miss. For  those interested in a more strenuous hike, we highly recommend the Bigugu Mountain trail which takes you to  the highest peak in Nyungwe Forest at 3000m above sea level .

On either treks along most of the trails, bird lovers are certainly in for a treat as Nyungwe hosts so many Albertine rift endemics that you will encounter along any of the trek! Don’t forget to carry your binoculars with you! (B-L-D).

PS; This day starts very early in the morning at around 5:30am or earlier depending on the advise of the park rangers.

Day 5 : Nyungwe Forest NP – Kibuye

Take breakfast and you will transfer to Kibuye. You will pass through the green fields of tea plantations before exploring  the shorelines of Lake Kivu. Kibuye is the most beautiful resort of the three towns   on Lake Kivu. Lake Kivu ‘s deep water has  an enormous amount of dissolved gas.  Research has it that  it has 50 million tonnes of  gasoline  about 250 m underneath of water and if  it is  exploited, this energy can  provide Rwanda with an almost infinite source of energy, exonerating  it from fret about energy needs linked to its development projects. There is a pilot station for the extraction of methane for energy.  To refresh from trekking in Nyungwe, you may spend this Rest of the day at leisure.  Dinner and over night at  either;

Budget – Home St Jean.
Standard- Eden Golfe Rock Hotel/ Hotel Centre Bethanie/ The Kibuye Guest House.
UP Market – The Moriah Hill Resort.

Day 6 : Kibuye – Gisenyi by speed boat (Goma) – Kinigi

Take breakfast and  only if weather allows, you will take a speed-boat trip to Gisenyi.  You will encounter fishing villages of Lake Kivu and also have an opportunity to interact with people Idjwi Island (Congo) who are rowing long distances in their dugout canoes to visit the Rwanda markets.   Idjwi is Island  belongs to both Rwanda   and Democratic Republic of the Congo.  It covers about 40 km in length and with a total surface  area of 285 km², it is thought to be the largest inland island in Africa- the eighth largest in the world. Idjwi is roughly halfway between the DRC and Rwanda, with 10 to 15 kilometres  that divides its western shore from the DRC mainland and a similar distance between its eastern shore and the coastline of Rwanda. Idjwi ‘s  southern tip lies only 1 kilometre from a peninsula of the Rwandan coast.

You can also cross  the border to Goma (Optional). Goma was devastated by the eruption of the Nyiragongo volcano.  The Nyiragongo Volcano which is 3470 metres above sea level erupted on the 17th of January 2002 and shattered part of Goma town.  About 400 000 inhabitants ran away from the increasing lava flows crossing the border into the bordering Rwanda. The eruption ruined the homes of  over 120 000 people and caused over 100 victims.

Your visit to this site will exhibit fantastic capabilities of the local population to surmount this natural upheaval!Later  transfer  to Ruhengeri and Kinigi for an overnight at either
Budget- Kinigi Guest House
Moderate- Gorilla View Lodge / Gorilla Nest Camp/ Hotel Gorillas/ Le Bambou Hotel.
Luxury- Sabinyo Silver Back lodge / Virunga Lodge

Day 7 : Africa Gorilla Safari Holiday

Take  breakfast  and  with the guidance of an AA safaris and Tours Guide , you will  report at the ORTPN headquarters from where you will be allocated a tour guide fro . You will meet your ranger guide for a briefing about the greatest primates  experience ever to see the only left Mountain gorillas in the world – the ones that might have led to the murder of an American Zoologist Dianne Fossey as she tried to research about them and also save them from poachers.  The  gorilla trek in Rwanda starts from the foothills of  Virunga volcanoes  and you will be led by an experienced English speaking  ranger guide who  will give you information not only about the gorillas but also about the other flora and fauna that you will encounter along the trek. The time taken to trek gorillas is unpredictable and depends on the movements of the gorillas. The Ssusa families located on the slopes of the Karisimbi volcano has the furthest group and it may take 10 hours before an encounter. I

f tracking ends early enough , you will take  a short  excursion to discover the beautiful lakes  of  Lake Bulera & Ruhondo at an extra cost. Here  you will have a  magnificent view of the Virunga chain of  Volcanoes.  Return for dinner and overnight at your lodge . Or go kayaking or canoe around the home of the gorillas.

Day 8  Another day of Gorilla Tracking

optional -subject to availability of gorilla permits and booking for this Must be done at the time of your booking to give enough time for reservation of gorilla permits   or  Transfer to Kigali.

This second chance of gorilla trekking  is given to those interested in  knowing more about the gorillas. Each adventure with the only few left mountain gorillas  is always different and awesome.  This time you may know their names if you track the same family. Those that prefer having a different experience may choose to see another family of gorillas. The choice is yours and subject to availability of gorilla permits. The Ssussa group have about 35  mountain gorillas and  will give you a great sense of achievement for those interested in challenging hikes. Later you will be transferred to  Kigali .

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