7 Days Rwanda Primates Tour – Gorillas, Golden Monkeys and Chimpanzees


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7 Days Rwanda Safari takes you to two of the countries national parks for an amazing encounter with chimpanzees, golden monkeys and mountain gorillas. If you love primates, this 7-day safari will leave you very impressed. The tour starts with a tour of the city of Kigali before Chimpanzee trekking and a canopy walk in Nyungwe National Park. From Nyungwe, you will transfer to Lake Kivu for a number of activities before heading to the Volcanoes National Park. While at the Volcanoes national park, you will take part in gorilla trekking, golden monkey tracking, visiting the twin Lakes and the gorilla Guardians village.

The cost of our 7 days Rwanda Wildlife safari will include: –

  1. A 4X4 private safari car
  2. A Guide/Driver who speaks excellent English
  3. Fuel for the whole tour
  4. Gorilla tracking Permits
  5. Drinking water and lunch every day
  6. Golden monkey tracking permits
  7. Pickup and departure at any location in Kigali
  8. Chimpanzee tracking permits
  9. Cultural and community visit
  10. Tour of Kigali
  11. Accommodation and meals for 6 nights

The 7 days Rwanda primates Safari excludes flights, visas, personal costs and insurance

  • Kigali city tour (City Markets. Former presidential palace, artisan shops and the Gisozi Genocide memorial site)
  • Gorilla Trekking
  • Golden monkey tracking
  • Chimpanzee Tracking
  • Canopy walk at Nyungwe forest
  • Touring and boat riding at Lake Kivu

Tour Plan

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Day 1 Airport or hotel Pick up – Transfer to Nyungwe forest

The driver guide will pick you up very early in the morning from your hotel or airport to start the long journey to Nyungwe forest on the south western part of Rwanda. Before beginning the journey, you should get a briefing on what to expect and the time-frame for each activity. The journey takes about 5 hours and allows you to enjoy beautiful views of the Rwandan countryside. You will understand why Rwanda is often referred to as “A land of a thousand hills”. Once you reach the forest, you will go straight to the lodge for check-in, refreshments and relaxation.

Dinner and Overnight will be at Nyungwe Forest Lodge (Luxury), Nyungwe Top View Hotel (Mid-range) and the Gisakura Guest House (Budget).

Day 2 Chimpanzee Tracking at Nyungwe forest – Going for a Canopy walk

You will wake up early and have breakfast at your hotel before going for the briefing on chimpanzee tracking at the Nyungwe forest offices. The Guides know where to find the chimps and all you need to do is follow them deep into the forest. Once you locate the chimpanzee, take enough photos and take the time to observe the behavior of the primates. Remember to always follow instructions from the Guides/Rangers. Though habituated, the chimps in Nyungwe remain wild. You cannot go near them or do something that will scare them off. Chimpanzees are very mobile and will quickly disappear if they feel threatened by your actions.

Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe National Park is special because it also an opportunity to spot 12 other species of primates, butterflies and birds. You may even follow the route with waterfalls and beautiful rocky escarpments. After the chimpanzee tracking adventure, you should go back for lunch at your lodge and prepare to be taken for the Canopy walk. The canopy walk is one of the top attractions in Nyungwe National Park. It allows you get an aerial view of the park and watch more of the monkeys and birds but from a different angle. After the amazing canopy walk, the driver will take you back to your lodge.

Accommodation and dinner will be at Nyungwe Forest Lodge (Luxury), Nyungwe Top View Hotel (Mid-range) and the Gisakura Guest House (Budget).

Day 3 Transfer to Lake Kivu – Go for an afternoon boat ride

You will wake up at you own taking after the tiring activity on Day 2. Take breakfast and checkout of the hotel as you wait for the Guide to pick you up and start the journey to Lake Kivu. Lake Kivu is the largest fresh water lake in Rwanda and goes all the way to the Democratic Republic of Congo. As we already noted, the Lake is world famous for the boiling Methane gas that comes out from underneath. On arrival at your new hotel, you will have lunch overlooking the Lake. In the afternoon, you will be taken for a boat ride to visit some of the islands. Once you are done with the boat ride, you should come back to hotel and prepare to go swimming in the lake. If swimming is not your thing, you can simply relax by the lake and admire the beautiful scenery and local people going about with their lives.

Dinner and accommodation will be at Lake Kivu Serena hotel (Luxury), Paradise Marahide (Mid-range) and Palm Resort Gardens (Budget).

Day 4 Tour of Lake Kivu and fishing villages – Transfer to Volcanoes national park

You will wake up at your own time, take breakfast and prepare to be taken for a tour of the different sites around the Lake Kivu including the fishing villages. For bird watchers, this is the perfect time to spot several resident and migratory species of birds. You will also spot several primates that live in forest on the islands and lake shores. You will also have chance encounters with the locals as they go about with their daily activities. After exploring the Lake in detail, you will set off for the Volcanoes national park in Musanze. Check in to your room and enjoy the beautiful views of the Virunga volcanoes before retiring early in bed (You need to be fresh and ready for gorilla trekking).

Dinner and accommodation at Mountain Gorilla View Lodge (Luxury), Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge (Mid-range) and The Garden Place Hotel (Budget).

Day 5 Mountain gorilla trekking – Visiting the Gorilla Guardians Village.

Wake up very early to sumptuous breakfast at your hotel and head to the Kinigi park headquarters for the briefing at 7:00 am. The head Guide and Rangers will let you know what you need to bring along during the trek and how to act around the gorillas. Afterwards, you will be allocated a gorilla family and offered a chance to  hire a porter if you have any heavy luggage.  A gorilla safari in Rwanda offers travelers a chance to track one of the 10 habituated gorilla groups. It is no longer possible to choose your gorilla group but your preferences, age and overall fitness will be taken into consideration. Gorilla trekking in the volcanoes national park can be challenging but the excitement and thrill as you approach the gorilla family makes it worthwhile. Moreover, you will get to observe many other forest creatures and plants as you find your way to the gorilla family. Once you locate the gorilla family, follow instructions from your guide. Mountain gorillas are very peaceful and calm creatures compared to other large wild animals. They rarely attack humans unless extremely provoked. You will have one hour with the gorillas, so use it to take as many photos and videos as possible.

Once done watching mountain gorillas, you should head back to the starting point to meet our Guide who will take you back to the lodge for lunch and rest. After resting, you will be taken to visit the Iby’iwacu cultural village located near the volcanoes national park. Now known as the Gorilla Guardians Village, the Centre started as a place where former poachers could sell art and crafts to tourists. Now it has grown to become the leading place to learn about the culture of the people of Rwanda. While in the village, you will be entertained to cultural dances and get to learn more about the local Kinyarwanda culture. Expect to be involved in the performances while also getting a chance to buy souvenirs.

Dinner and accommodation at Mountain Gorilla View Lodge (Luxury), Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge (Mid-range) and The Garden Place Hotel (Budget).

Day 6 Golden Monkey Tracking – Visiting the twin lakes of Burera and Ruhondo

Once again, wake up early and take your breakfast before heading to the Volcanoes national park offices for a briefing on golden monkey tracking. After the briefing, you should hire a porter to help with your backpack or any other heavy equipment so that you can comfortably track the golden monkeys. The park guide will lead you into the forest where you will finally spot the monkeys on top of the trees and on the ground feeding. Golden monkeys are a rare and endangered species of primates. They look very cute and you should take as many photos for your collection given that you are allowed to use flash cameras. Once done, you will head back to the park for lunch and rest. Later in the evening, our guide will take you for an evening drive to visit the beautiful twin lakes of Burera and Ruhondo.

Dinner and accommodation at Mountain Gorilla View Lodge (Luxury), Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge (Mid-range) and The Garden Place Hotel (Budget).

Day 7 Transfer back Kigali – Tour of Kigali, the genocide memorial Centre and other sites

After a busy and tiring 6 days, you should wake up at your own leisure and prepare for the journey back to Kigali. In case you missed the tour of Kigali on your arrival day because of time and flight constraints, this is the day that you will go for it. You will visit the city market, the former presidential palace, artisan shops and the Gisozi genocide memorial site. During the city tour, you will have another chance to buy local art pieces as gifts for family and friends back at home. Afterwards the city tour, our Guide will take you back to the airport for departure or to your hotel if you are living in Kigali.

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