8 Day Rwanda Wildlife Safari

Days
8
Countries
Durations
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You want animals??? How about Elephants, Zebras, Giraffes, Lions, Hippos, Buffalo, Antelope, Waterbuck, Warthogs, Birds, Chimpanzees, Colobos Monkeys, Mountain Gorillas, Golden Monkeys and much more?

From Savannah Safari to Rainforest trekking this has it all with the inspiring Rwanda as your canvas.

  • Local Culture

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Day 1: Arrival at Kanombe, transfer to Akagera National Park

Upon arrival at Kanombe International Airport, you will be transferred to Akagera national park. Set at a relatively low altitude on the border of Rwanda and Tanzania, Akagera National Park could scarcely be more different in mood to the breezy cultivated hills that characterize 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, famed for its hosting of big game! Herds of elephant and buffalo emerge from the woodland to drink at the lakes, while lucky visitors might stumble across a leopard, a spotted hyena or even a stray lion. Giraffe and zebra haunt the savannah, and more than a dozen types of antelope inhabit the park, most commonly the handsome chestnut-coated impala, but also the diminutive oribi and secretive bushbuck, as well as the ungainly tsessebe and the world’s largest antelope, the statuesque Cape eland.

Spotted Hyenas Lion of Africa

In the Lakes of Akagera, pods of 50 hippopotami grunt and splutter throughout the day, while outsized crocodiles soak up the sun with their vast jaws menacingly agape. Magically, the air is torn apart by the unforgettable high dueting of a pair of fish eagles, asserting their status as the avian monarchs of Africa’s waterways. Lining the lakes are some of the continent’s densest concentrations of waterbirds, while the connecting marshes are the haunt of the endangered and exquisite papyrus gonolek, and the bizarre and rather iconic shoebill stork.

Crocodile hippos-rwanda Crocodiles on Riverbank

Overnight at your lodge choice.

Day 2: Game viewing Safari in the park

Before breakfast, you will have an early morning game drive and have a chance to see animals like Butchell’s Zebra, lions, elephants, topi etc and over 425 species of birds including the Shoebill, African Jacana, Sacred Ibis, Goliath Heron and many more amazing species. Later in the afternoon, we drive to Kigali city and depending on time of arrival, we may have a city tour.

Overnight Kigali at your selected hotel.

zebras-in-uganda  Shoebill

Day 3: Drive to Nyungwe Forest National Park, Overnight at your lodge.

Early in the morning after breakfast, we set out towards the south west of Rwanda – Nyungwe forest, having lunch en route. Upon arrival, depending on time of arrival, we may go for an afternoon primate walk in the forest.

There are chances of seeing Colobus monkeys and birds including the Rwenzori Turacco. Nyungwe Forest is the largest swathe of montane forest left in East or Central Africa. It harbours about 275 different birds, hundreds of butterflies and orchids, and over 75 different species of mammals – including 13 primates (about a quarter of all Africa’s primates). The forest walks here are excellent, lasting from one to six or seven hours.

see-colobus-monkeys Nyungwe National Park

Nyungwe Forest is home to chimpanzees, Ruwenzori Colobus monkeys, L’Hoest’s monkey and the Grey-cheeked Mangabey, etc. The birds here are spectacular, though, as in most tropical forests, we’ll have to look hard for them. Giant hornbills, Great Blue Turaccos and Red-breasted Sparrowhawks are some of the species which grace this verdant forest, of which 24 are endemic to this section of the Rift Valley. Tall old mahoganies, ebonies and giant tree ferns tower above you, whilst orchids and other epiphytes cling to every branch. Brightly coloured birds flit around, butterflies are everywhere, and walking quietly we may encounter larger forest residents.

Sparrowhawk  Hornbill Butterflys of Africa Exotic Birds Africa Bird Watching

Day 4: Chimpanzee tracking safari 

Early morning before breakfast, we enter Nyungwe Forest where our aim today is to track chimpanzees. You will have a chance to see some of these close relatives to man, see how they feed and play with each other.

The population of chimpanzees in Nyungwe Forest ranges between 400-500 individuals. In the high rain season, a troop of chimpanzees often moves into Uwinka and the coloured trail as well. We may be able to hear the chimpanzees before we see them.

Chimps in Forest congo-gorilla-chimpanzee-tours

Unlike other primates, chimpanzees don’t live in troops, but instead form extended communities of up to a hundred individuals, which move around the forest in small mobile sub groups that often revolve around a few close family members like brothers, mothers and daughters. Male chimps normally spend their entire life within the community in which they were born, whereas females are likely to migrate into a neighbouring community at some point after reaching adolescence.

Chimpanzee Tours Chimpanzees of the Forest rwanda-golden-monkeys-in-tree

Other primates that we may meet include L’Hoest’s Monkey, Silver Monkey, Golden Monkey, Owl-faced Monkey, Dent’s Mona Monkey, Crowned Monkey, Vervet Monkey and Olive Baboon. Later we return to the lodge for breakfast. Later on, after lunch, you will spend the afternoon at leisure.

Day 5: Transfer to Volcanoes National Park

On this day, after a quick breakfast, we set out driving towards Parc National des Volcans otherwise known as Volcanoes National Park. This national park is a home to 360 Mountain Gorillas and covers an area of 160sq km. It protects Rwanda’s sector of the Virunga Volcanic Mountain range of 6 extinct and 3 active volcanoes that straddle the borders with Uganda and Congo.

Volcanoes National Park Parc Nationa Des Volcans

The Volcanoes National Park is part of a contiguous 433sq km Trans frontier conservation unit that also includes the Virunga National Park and Mgahinga National Park, which protects the DRC and Ugandan sectors of the Virunga respectively. The tallest mountain in this chain is Kalisimbi, found on the border with the DRC. Moving eastward, the other main peaks within the national park are Visoke on the DRC border; Sabinyo at the juncture of Rwanda, Uganda and the DRC, and Gahinga and Muhabura on the Uganda border.

The Volcanoes National Park is best known to the outside world as the place where almost for 20yrs the American primatologist Dianne Fossey under took her pioneering studies of mountain gorilla behaviour.

Overnight at your selected lodge choice.

Day 6: Gorilla Tracking or Hiking Safari – Volcanoes NP

After an early breakfast, we drive to the park headquarters where you are to begin your adventure with the gorillas.

Mountain gorilla tracking remains the most popular in this park, with over a total of 40 permits issued daily, eight for each of the five habituated troops.  But Volcanoes National Park is not only for gorilla tracking but other activities like  trekking, hiking which are now well organized, from a two-day ascent of Karisimbi to a non-strenuous nature walk to a cluster of crater laters, but the most exciting achievement is that you can also visit habituated troops of the near-endemic Golden Monkey.

Rare Mountain Gorilla Baby Gorillas Gorilla Trekking

Endangered Mountain Gorillas
Endangered Mountain Gorillas
Day 7: Drive to Kigali, Overnight at your selected hotel choice.

On this day, we drive out of the park towards Kigali. Depending on arrival time, we will have a city tour. Kigali is blessed with a curio markets all over. We have lunch and you spend the rest of the day at leisure.

Kigali City

Day 8: Departure 

After an early breakfast we have another drive through the city as we proceed towards Kanombe International Airport arriving in good time for your departure flight back home.

 

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