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The Highlights of Rwanda

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  • 11 Days

Marcel Walter

Mapendano Voyages

We are a company aiming to offer the ultimate natural experience in Central and Eastern Africa.

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The Highlights of Rwanda

This safari brings you to the most interesting National parks of Rwanda. The rocky highlands and the wet plains of Akagera national park, home to the big African game, iIn Huye you will be in contact with the country’s history and customs, in the lush rainforest of Nyungwe with its unique primates, cool off on the shores of Lake Kivu and you will track the endangered mountain gorilla on the slopes of the dramatic Parc National des Volcans. HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE: . Big game at Akagera National Park . Discover on foot the primates of Nyungwe Forest . Discover on foot the mountain gorilla . Lake Kivu and its islands . The unique landscapes of the Land of a 1000 Hills

DAY 1

KIGALI – AKAGERA NP

Early start to the Akagera National Park. Akagera National Park covers an area of 112,000 in the east of Rwanda, is set at a relatively low altitude on the border with Tanzania, Akagera National Park could scarcely be more different in mood to the breezy cultivated hills that characterise much of Rwanda. Dominated scenically by the labyrinth of swamps and lakes that follow the meandering course of the Akagera River, the most remote source of the Nile, this is archetypal African savannah landscape of tangled acacia woodland interspersed with open grassland. Akagera is, above all, big game country! As well as being home to the shy oribi and to the elusive topi, the Highlands afford a breathtaking view across the undulating hills, rolling grassland to the extensive series of lakes, linked by papyrus swamps. Elephant, buffalo, giraffe, zebra, waterbuck are some of the game roaming this peaceful heaven. The bird life is also remarkable. The diverse habitats of the area are home to over 500 species of birds. Morning short game drive. Lunch at the lodge. Game drive and boat ride on lake ihema. Read more

Akagera 1 night
DAY 2

AKAGERA NATIONAL PARK

Full day safari in Akagera. Game drive from south to north. During the game drive along a well designed network of tracks, there are plenty of animals one can see including elephants, buffalo, zebra, bushbaby, antelopes and many other mammal species. On rare occasions, one can see species such as leopard, lion and black rhino. As one of the most scenic savanna in East Africa, the game drive in Akagera provides an opportunity to see gentle hills blending in beautifully with lowland swamps and water bodies. Overnight into the park Read more

Akagera 1 night
DAY 3

KIGALI – HUYE

After an early breakfast, we follow the road as it climbs and descends some of the thousand hills, with spectacular views all along the way. Arrive at Nyanza, visit King’s palace. Lunch, then in afternoon, road to Huye. Dinner and overnight in Huye

Huye 1 night
DAY 4

NATIONAL MUSEUM - NYUNGWE NP

After breakfast, visit the Ethnographic National Museum in Huye , It is a must for anybody who is interested in African history. Around 10AM, continue toward the Nyungwe forest. Lunch in Nyamagabe town. At 3PM, Canopy walk way. The Canopy Walkway is 50 meters above the ground level, and 200 meters long. The dizzying platform is above a steep and deep valley across a massive forest. This impressive walkway with its three towers is the biggest in East Africa. The hanging platform which allows you to view different animal species in Nyungwe forest spreads over hundreds of square meters and will allow you to be at the "eye-to-eye level" with different primate species, and many bird species, all of which are fond of inhabiting the upper scales of the forest. Dinner and overnight at the Nyungwe Forest’s edge Read more

Nyungwe NP 1 night
DAY 5

CHIMPANZES TREKKING AND COLOBUS MONKEYS

Covering 1020 km2, the Highlands provide unique habitat for thirteen species of primate, including chimpanzees, l'Hoest's and owl-faced monkey. As you walk under the canopy of majestic trees, a large group of semi wild colobus monkeys can be seen feeding pn wild figs and jumping from branch to branch. This high altitude jungle floor boasts some of the most beautiful orchids in the world. The birding here is also superb, with over 300 species and 26 endemics, along with 120 species of butterfly and the occasional, ever-changing chameleon hiding in the bushes. Read more

Nyungwe NP 1 night
DAY 6

NYUNGWE FOREST – LAKE KIVU

En route to Karongi, enjoy the fantastic views over Lake Kivu and its ragged shore. Experience the peaceful atmosphere of the calm and pristine waters of Africa’s highest lake from the terrace of your hotel. Traditional villages and rolling hills form the backdrop of the drive. Arrive at the hotel for lunch. 3 PM, boat tour to “Island Chapeau de Napoleon” (it’s shaped like his hat, Hike to the island. Diner and overnight Karongi Read more

Karongi 1 night
DAY 7

LAKE KIVU AND HILLS – VOLCANOES NP

After a refreshing early morning swim and a hearty breakfast, we continue toward north, along the lakeshore. There is plenty of opportunity for shopping and meeting villagers at the colourful market places. Stop at a huge tea plantation. Stop at Rubavu, a nice small town, located on the northern shore of lake kivu for lunch. After lunch, continue toward to volcanoes National park Read more

Volcanoes NP
DAY 8

GORILLA TREKKING

After waking at sunrise, there is short drive to the park headquarters, where briefings, porters and coffee awaits before stepping into the cool forests to begin the adventure. Guides help steady the pace, with stops for water, signs of gorillas and a chance to soak up the views of the valleys below. As the first light of dawn breaks through the curtain of mist clinging to the summits of Karisimbi, Bisoke, Sabyniyo, Gahinga and Muhabura, we make our way into the Parc National des Volcans. Tracking the gorillas through the unique vegetation can take several hours of challenging walking in wet and muddy conditions. Once you reach the gorillas, you can spend an hour with them and be back at base in time for a late lunch! To see gorillas, the trek will have been worth the hardship. Diner and overnight near Volcanoes National Park Read more

Volcanoes NP
DAY 9

VOLCANOES NP

Options available include a second Gorilla Trek, or trek to a habituate group of Golden Monkeys ( cercopithecus mitis kandti), or visit the Karisoke Research centre built by Dian Fossey and the site of her grave, located in the Park between the Karisimbi and Bisoke Volcanoes - three hours trekking accompanied by a Park Ranger, or to climb Bisoke volcano with its superb crater lake.(all at extra cost) Tracking the Golden Monkey An Elusive Treasure in the Virunga Mountains This little known monkey is one of the most endangered primates in Africa and it is now thought that the only viable population of these monkeys is in the Virunga Volcanoes. A smaller population may exist in the Nyungwe Forest in Southern Rwanda but this has yet to be verified. The golden monkey is a distinct species of guenon - Cercopithecus Kandti and is endemic to the Albertine Rift. Or Dian Fossey's tomb: One popular hike while near the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda is the one to Dian Fossey’s Tomb and the adjacent gorilla cemetery in the former Karisoke Research Camp. The Karisoke scientific base was established by Dian Fossey in the saddle area between two volcanoes; Mt Visoke and Mt Karisimbi (from which the name Karisoke is derived). The camp site stands at an altitude of around 3000m (over 9000 ft) and was abandoned during the unrest of the 1990’s. The trek involves a 30-minute drive from the park headquarters to the trailhead then a 10-minute stroll to the park boundary. From here, the ascent through the forest takes anything from 90 minutes to three hours, depending on your fitness and how often you stop to enjoy the scenery while the descent takes 2 hours. Fossey’s old living quarters – which she nicknamed the mausoleum – are now in ruins, and several other landmarks in the camp are signposted. The hike offers a good opportunity to see birds and other creatures typical of the Virungas en route. At the site you will find the house from where Dian Fossey was mysteriously murdered in 1985 but the more peaceful is the place where she was buried just next to her favourite gorilla, Digit and about 20 other mountain gorillas either killed by poachers or suffered death for other reasons. The tomb’s headstone reads: No one loved gorillas more Rest in peace, dear friend Eternally protected In this sacred ground For you are home Where you belong In her journal, Dian Fossey’s final words were, “When you realize the value of all life, you dwell less on what is past and concentrate more on the preservation of the future.” Today, Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund monitors ten gorilla groups (out of 15 total) in Rwanda and have so many other projects to help conserve the gorillas and other animals in the region. This hike is an incredible experience physically, emotionally and intellectually. It is so inspiring to learn about someone who was so dedicated and left a legacy that exists even today. If you find yourself in Rwanda and you’re up for a challenge, I highly recommend the hike. Or Climbing Mt Bisoke: The mountain is located within Rwandan Volcanoes National Park and Congolese Virunga National Park. The steep slopes of the peak are densely covered with equatorial rainforest and alpine meadows. The summit does not gather snow, but is often shrouded in fog. Bisoke is one of the mountains considered a habitat for the Endangered mountain gorilla, and the Karisoke Research Center founded by Dian Fossey is located in the valley to the west. Mt Visoke stands at 3700m, it has the typical conic shape of a “perfect” volcano and in its crater lies a deep crater lake. Or 2nd gorilla trekking: Another option is a 2nd gorilla trekking. Gorilla tracking in Parc National des Volcans, through the light mountain forest on the slopes of the Virunga range, is a magical experience. Once you reach the gorillas, you can spend an hour with them and be back at base in time for a late lunch! Diner and overnight near Volcanoes National Park Read more

Volcanoes 1 night
DAY 10

VOLCANOES NP

Options available include a second Gorilla Trek, or trek to a habituate group of Golden Monkeys ( cercopithecus mitis kandti), or visit the Karisoke Research centre built by Dian Fossey and the site of her grave, located in the Park between the Karisimbi and Bisoke Volcanoes - three hours trekking accompanied by a Park Ranger, or to climb Bisoke volcano with its superb crater lake.(all at extra cost) Tracking the Golden Monkey An Elusive Treasure in the Virunga Mountains This little known monkey is one of the most endangered primates in Africa and it is now thought that the only viable population of these monkeys is in the Virunga Volcanoes. A smaller population may exist in the Nyungwe Forest in Southern Rwanda but this has yet to be verified. The golden monkey is a distinct species of guenon - Cercopithecus Kandti and is endemic to the Albertine Rift. Or Dian Fossey's tomb: One popular hike while near the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda is the one to Dian Fossey’s Tomb and the adjacent gorilla cemetery in the former Karisoke Research Camp. The Karisoke scientific base was established by Dian Fossey in the saddle area between two volcanoes; Mt Visoke and Mt Karisimbi (from which the name Karisoke is derived). The camp site stands at an altitude of around 3000m (over 9000 ft) and was abandoned during the unrest of the 1990’s. The trek involves a 30-minute drive from the park headquarters to the trailhead then a 10-minute stroll to the park boundary. From here, the ascent through the forest takes anything from 90 minutes to three hours, depending on your fitness and how often you stop to enjoy the scenery while the descent takes 2 hours. Fossey’s old living quarters – which she nicknamed the mausoleum – are now in ruins, and several other landmarks in the camp are signposted. The hike offers a good opportunity to see birds and other creatures typical of the Virungas en route. At the site you will find the house from where Dian Fossey was mysteriously murdered in 1985 but the more peaceful is the place where she was buried just next to her favourite gorilla, Digit and about 20 other mountain gorillas either killed by poachers or suffered death for other reasons. The tomb’s headstone reads: No one loved gorillas more Rest in peace, dear friend Eternally protected In this sacred ground For you are home Where you belong In her journal, Dian Fossey’s final words were, “When you realize the value of all life, you dwell less on what is past and concentrate more on the preservation of the future.” Today, Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund monitors ten gorilla groups (out of 15 total) in Rwanda and have so many other projects to help conserve the gorillas and other animals in the region. This hike is an incredible experience physically, emotionally and intellectually. It is so inspiring to learn about someone who was so dedicated and left a legacy that exists even today. If you find yourself in Rwanda and you’re up for a challenge, I highly recommend the hike. Or Climbing Mt Bisoke: The mountain is located within Rwandan Volcanoes National Park and Congolese Virunga National Park. The steep slopes of the peak are densely covered with equatorial rainforest and alpine meadows. The summit does not gather snow, but is often shrouded in fog. Bisoke is one of the mountains considered a habitat for the Endangered mountain gorilla, and the Karisoke Research Center founded by Dian Fossey is located in the valley to the west. Mt Visoke stands at 3700m, it has the typical conic shape of a “perfect” volcano and in its crater lies a deep crater lake. Or 2nd gorilla trekking: Another option is a 2nd gorilla trekking. Gorilla tracking in Parc National des Volcans, through the light mountain forest on the slopes of the Virunga range, is a magical experience. Once you reach the gorillas, you can spend an hour with them and be back at base in time for a late lunch! Diner and overnight near Volcanoes National Park Read more

Volcanoes NP 1 night
DAY 11

VOLCANOES NP - KIGALI

Enjoy during the early morning hours the peaceful atmosphere of the volcanoes range. Return to Kigali, stopping on busy market places and craft shops. Lunch and airport transfer depending on flight details.

Kigali 1 night

ACCOMMODATIONS

Day in trip
Location
Hotel
Day 1
Location Kigali
Day 2
Location Akagera
Day 3
Location Akagera
Day 4
Location Huye
Day 5
Location Gisakura
Day 6
Location Gisakura
Day 7
Location Karongi
Day 8
Location Kinigi
Day 9
Location Kinigi
Day 10
Location Kinigi

TRIP PACKAGE

Package includes

  • Transfer from/to the airport
  • Transport during the tour
  • Accommodation
  • Local guides
  • Information services
  • Entrance fee

Package excludes

  • Airfare
  • Personal expenses
  • Visa, consular 76fees or any other formalities.
  • Tips
  • Beverages
  • Additional journeys and transfers

REVIEWS

3 Reviews

Kris de Bardia, France

Gorilla and Chimps tour : a dream trip ! Great tour, great organisation, great vehicle, great countries (Rwanda and Ouganda) and world class quality guide. We got what we came here for (Apes) but got much much more thanks to the flexibility of the management and thanks to our smart and knowledgeable guide. Thanks Mapendano ! :) Read more

Dan FAVRE, Switzerland

EXCELLENT ! I contacted Mapendano a few months before the departure. They organised everything and all was perfect in the communication (answers to my questions were quick and complete). During the trip, I visited twice the gorillas and both experiences were different and complementary. The hotels were excellent, so was the food. Samuel, guide / driver, couldn't possibly have been nicer or more helpful - he felt like an old friend by the end of the first week. He was perfect during the safari drives in the animals parks. We only got little problems with the car (2 flat tires and another problem with the transmission), it was just part of the trip and the lost of time was minimal. I highly recommend MAPENDANO for any trip in central Africa. Read more

Corinne, France

Nous avons eu la joie et la chance de tomber sur cette agence en septembre 2014. Nous avons été plus que satisfaits, vraiment enchantés par le pays et surtout par notre chauffeur guide Jean-Marie Kiguge que je recommande vivement pour ses grandes connaissances mais aussi son service impeccable. N'hesitez pas, avec Mapendano vous êtes entre de bonnes mains. Read more

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