DAY 1: ARRIVAL
Welcome to Rwanda! Upon arrival at Kigali International Airport, you will be met by our guide and transfer to the hotel in Kigali.
Kigali is a thriving city immediately notable for its cleanliness, orderliness and good hospitality. It offers tourists some of the best tour experiences on the African continent. It sprawls across numerous hills, ridges and valleys, and has a vibrant restaurant and nightlife scene.
Overnight at The Nest
DAY 2: KIGALI MEMORIAL VISIT & CITY TOUR
After your morning breakfast, you will meet your guide and head to the Kigali Genocide Memorial for a moving and educational tour.
The 1993 genocide was a tragedy of unbelievable heartbreak. The Kigali Genocide Memorial is one of several key genocide memorials set up around the country to educate people and memorialize their deaths in order to never forget and never repeat this chapter of their history. The memorial is extremely educational and explains what the conditions and history was that led to the event, is very transparent and challenging, moving and ultimately inspiring as you see the incredible reconciliation and rebuilding that has gone on since. It is something you will never forget.
After the memorial, you will continue with a short city tour to learn more about the progress of Rwanda then after you go for lunch.
In the afternoon will go for Campaign against Genocide museum located in the current parliamentary building in order to clearly understand how the Genocide of Tutsi was lead to an end. The tour lasts three hours and you will be taken back to the Hotel for relaxation and overnight.
Overnight at The Nest
DAY 3: VISIT TO HERITAGE CORRIDOR (MUHANGA, NYANZA AND HUYE)
As the new day dawns, you will rise and shine and get ready for the day. Then you will have your breakfast.
Today you transfer from Kigali to the South with a couple of very unique cultural stopovers along the way.
An hour south Kigali is the Kabgayi Church Museum. You can spot colonial-era buildings and visit Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady, the first cathedral in Rwanda built by Germans in 1905.
After you will continue to Kings Palace Museum located in Nyanza.This impressive museum, which has been restored to its 19th-century state, offers insight into Rwandan traditions. After a recent reintroduction, the property is now home to long horned traditional cows, which are an integral part of the Rwandan culture. On the neighboring hill of Mwima, one can visit the burial grounds of King Mutara III and his wife, Queen Rosalie Gicanda.
You will then head to Huye a further 45 minutes after having your lunch for visiting the Ethnographic Museum of Rwanda which is one of the six museums that make up the Institute of National Museums of Rwanda. This Museum was built in 1987, and now houses one of Africa & s finest ethnographic collections.
Its seven galleries display historical, ethnographic, artistic and archaeological artefacts accompanied by visual aids, giving visitors a rich insight into the culture of Rwandans.
The Museum is also home to a fine traditional dance troupe and we have organised a beautiful and energetic display especially for this tour. After this one life time experience, you will be transferred to the hotel in Huye for relaxation and overnight.
Overnight at Mater Boni Consilii Hotel
DAY 4: HUYE CITY TOUR & TRANSFER TO NYUNGWE NATIONAL PARK
After the morning breakfast at 7:30 am you will be picked for Huye city tour.The city has a lot to offer,you will be able to visit the first National university of Rwanda that was built in 1963 a year after Rwanda got its independence combined with IRST the first institute to start the collection of Rwandan cultural facts, the University Teaching Hospital and the university big forest called Arboretum .
You will also visit Butare Cathedral and the Groupe officiel de Butare (Indatwa n’Inkesha) the first school of children of high officials of the monarchy period and the detailed stories of Astrida and Ngoma sector on colonial residents at the time and the educated Rwandans and their way of living (quartier des evoluees).After, you will go to Save to visit the first Roman Catholic church in Rwanda and get an insight on historical background of churches and religion in Rwanda.
After this tour, you will have lunch and finally embark on a 3 hours journey to Africa’ s largest temperate Rainforest called Nyungwe Forest National Park and check in the hotel near the Park where you will have dinner and overnight.
Overnight at Nyungwe top view hill
DAY 5: CHIMPANZEE TREKKING & TRANSFER TO MUSANZE
This morning after having your early morning breakfast at 4:30 at your hotel you will head to the park Headquarters.
On arrival, the park rangers will give you a briefing on the trek rules and Chimpanzee behaviors, then you head off with walking sticks in hand in to the jungle. The trek can last between 2-5 hours depending on the movements of the Chimpanzees and often you will have to follow them as they move. It is amazing to watch these creatures which are our closest animal relative sharing nearly 96% of our DNA. They are very agile and quite a bit larger than you will expect.
After the trek, you will head back to your accommodation to freshen up and have lunch.
After lunch, check out of your accommodation and drive to Musanze enjoying
Scenic Lake Kivu, several small traditional villages, tea plantations, farmlands and fishing canoes. On your arrival in Musanze, you will check in a hotel/lodge overlooking the five volcanoes that offer a soothing breath before dinner and overnight.
Overnight at Lalocanda
DAY 6: GORILLA TREKKING & BOAT CRUISE IN THE TWIN LAKES
Today you have a unique and privileged experience to trek and meet at close quarters the rare Mountain Gorillas.
After an early breakfast, you leave the lodge at 6:30am and drive the 30 minutes to the Volcanoes National Park Headquarters.
At the park headquarters there will be a cup of tea or coffee available and The park rangers will organize trekkers in to groups of like fitness and assign you your trek leader. The leaders will brief you on the trek details and gorilla behavior, before we make a short drive to the trek starting point in the farmlands at the foothills of the Volcanoes.
After walking through the farmlands and crossing the park stone wall the trek starts in earnest as you venture up the mountain and through the thick forest. The treks can go for between 2-6 hours depending on which group you are with and how nomadic the gorilla group is.
Once you happen upon your gorilla group all tiredness will go away and you get to spend an hour with a troop of these fabled creatures. You will marvel at their interactions, displays, playing, eating and sleeping. There is so much to recognize in our own human behavior. The encounter is considered one of the great wild animal encounters on the planet.
After spending an hour it is time to leave the mountain gorillas to live their life and head back down the mountain. There is plenty of stunning views to enjoy on the way down where your driver and guide will be waiting to hear all about your exciting adventure before driving back to your accommodation for lunch.
After lunch it is time to explore more that the area has to offer. You will be taken to the Twin Lakes. At these Lakes you will enjoy the fantastic nature walk, bird watching, boat cruise, fishing and outstanding view of the 5 volcanoes. You can also visit people living on the islands and share their culture. These lakes are beautiful for sundowner cruise whilst enjoying the drink of your choice.
After this tour you will go back to your Lodge to relax or enjoy as you like before dinner and overnight. Overnight at Lalocanda
DAY 7: A DAY IN RWANDAN FAMILY
Take it a bit easy this morning as we will depart around 10am after your morning breakfast.
You will then head to the rural village to experience the lives of a typical rural Rwandan farmer and then spend a day with the local people to get a real sense of living as a local.
Whilst Rwanda is a small country it is densely populated and most of its citizens earn a livelihood and living from owning and working small plots of lands.
On arrival you will partake in your authentic rural activity of choice (chosen on day 1 in Musanze during the briefing with your guide): Traditional Construction, Banana Juice/beer making and tasting, Traditional Pottery, Traditional Cooking Experience, Basket weaving, etc.
Then you’ll share a simple local meal with your host family, with plenty of time to chat and learn about each other’s lives. After this you will also browse through some of the beautiful crafts made by the local artisans (including your hosts) and do a little fair trade shopping of souvenirs before going back to your lodge.
Overnight at La Locanda
DAY 8: DEPARTURE
The Morning of eighth day the visitor is transferred back to the Kigali International Airport depending on the visitor’s Departure time which will remark the end of service for Giraffe tours.