The 10 days Rwanda gorilla and wildlife safari allows you to explore all the highlights of Rwanda in details. You will visit the historical places, mix and mingle with cultural activities, view wildlife and enjoy the misty hills of Rwanda. The 10 days tour will take you to among other places Volcanoes National park, where you’ll hike to pay tribute to the fallen primatologist, Dian Fossey, Nyungwe national park – Rwanda’s primate capital, Akagera national park – the country’s wildlife gem and cultural encounters in Butare and Kigali cities.
10 Days Rwanda Safari Detailed Itinerary
Day 1: Arrival and Transfer to Akagera National Park
Upon arrival, you will be met and picked up by your safari guide from Kigali airport. If time allows, take a short city tour and explore various sites of cultural and historical significance. These include modern skyscrapers, portraying a steady development of Kigali city, genocide memorial center, presidential palace museum, Kimironko market, or take a tour to the Nyamata and Ntarama genocide churches located in the outskirts of Kigali. Have lunch and in the evening transfer to the eastern based Akagera national park. Arrive in the evening, check in at the lodge, have dinner and overnight stay.
Day 2: Behind the scenes experience, Afternoon boat cruise & Evening game drive
Wake up early in the morning and undertake the Behind – the – scenes experience in Akagera national park. During this interesting behind – the – scenes tour, the key park officials will take you through the history of Akagera National Park as Africa’s 2nd oldest National Park after Virunga national park in D.R. Congo, their anti-poaching methods and confiscated items, conservation measures and a look at their inventive tracking room which monitors the movements of the park’s newest inhabitants – the lions and eastern black rhinos.
Return to the lodge for lunch and afterwards embark on the afternoon boat cruise at Lake Ihema (Rwanda’s second largest lake after Kivu). This lake boasts an array of reptiles, wildlife and amazing bird life. While on the boat cruise, you will spot crocodiles, hippos, mammals like buffaloes, antelopes, elephants and many water birds quenching their thirst while others are playing in the water. After this boat experience, head back to your lodge for dinner.
In the evening, go for a safari drive to explore more elusive animal species resident in the park. During your drive, you may have the chance of seeing nocturnal predators like lions, elusive leopard, hyenas, snakes and so much more. Other animals that you may come across if you start early in the evening include elephants, buffalos, antelopes, birds as they return to their nests.
Day 3: Transfer to Volcanoes National Park
Have a relaxed breakfast this morning as you enjoy the undulating plains of Akagera National Park. Begin your transfer to the far north – west in Volcanoes national park; the only park in Rwanda that inhabits the rare mountain gorillas, and home to over a quarter of the world’s total mountain gorilla population. The journey is quite taking approximately 5-6 hours of drive, until you finally arrive in the Virunga based park in the afternoon. Have lunch at your lodge and spend the evening resting at the lodge and admiring the views of Virunga ranges.
Day 4: Gorilla Trekking & Iby’Iwacu Cultual Experience
Today, after breakfast at 6:30 am, prepare for an exciting encounter with the endangered Mountain Gorillas. Volcanoes national park boasts both an array of Mountain gorillas and golden monkeys – the two most sought after primates in the world. It is also host to at least 6 other primate species, 113 mammal species, over 200 butterflies and 360 bird species including the Virunga endemics.
Gorilla trekking adventure is highly unpredictable and may take between 2 to 8 hours of trekking, plus the one hour of face – face encounter. Volcanoes national park is a steep jungle on the foothills of Virunga Mountains, so one should be prepared to trek long distances through boggy and steep jungles, sometimes with rain overhead, but the eventual encounter with the mighty gorillas is all worth the trek.
After the trek, return to the lodge, relax waiting for a community experience in the evening. You will head to the Ib’yiwachu cultural village on the outskirts of Volcanoes national park to learn about the culture and traditions of Rwandan people. Get to know about their farming practices (agro-tourism), how they manufacture local brew from bananas, and how they grind millet to make flour. Return to your hotel after the experience.
Day 5: Dian Fossey Grave Hike & Twin Lakes Visit
Rise up in the morning for breakfast and prepare to visit Dian Fossey’s grave with a scenic hike. It is one of the interesting sites in Rwanda with a sensational and touching history. Get inspired by the stories of this gorilla heroine who lived her entire life trying to save gorillas from poaching. Descend back to your lodge, have lunch and visit the twin lakes in the evening. The twin lakes of Bulera and Ruhondo are strategically located in the foothills of Mount Muhabura. Admire the amazing scenery and history of the lake or take a sunset canoe cruise to explore the interior of the lakes. Return to the lodge later in the evening.
Day 6: Transfer to Lake Kivu
Rise up at leisure and have breakfast, later head off to the western province in Gisenyi, Lake Kivu – Rwanda’s largest lake and Africa’s 8th largest fresh water lake. Lake Kivu lies within the Albertine Rift along the western border between D. R. Congo and Rwanda. Lake Kivu is a popular destination for different leisure experiences which are located on a modern lake shore overlooking pine-covered hills.
The banks of Lake Kivu provide calmness and serenity to all who make their way there, marked by amazing bird life, shimmering waters and extensive islands. Other leisure experiences include speed boat cruises, water skiing, canoeing, wind surfing and sport fishing. After this excursion, retire for the day, have diner and overnight stay at the lodge.
Day 7: Boat Cruise & Drive to Nyungwe Forest National Park
Have breakfast and embark on a sunrise boat cruise to explore iconic islands on this lake, including the largest inland island in Africa, view fishermen casting their nets, amazing birdlife, and so much more. Alternatively, you can opt to just relax with a cup of warm coffee on the balcony of your room as you admire the sheer beauty of the lake and its surroundings.
After this experience, check out and the guide will pick you up from the hotel and begin the transfer to Nyungwe Forest National Park. Nyungwe Forest is a large protected block of rainforest located in Ruzizi western province of Rwanda. It boasts the highest number of primates in Rwanda, up to 13 species, including the rare chimpanzees, Red Colobus and Red tailed monkeys plus Grey cheeked Mangabeys.
The journey is approximately 2-3 hours’ drive, and the route is beautiful and picturesque, marked with lush forests, undulating plantations and stunning landscapes which Rwanda is famous for. One is able to spot the majestic Virunga Ranges and Congo Blue Mountains in a distance.
Day 8: Morning Nature Walk & Afternoon Birding Experience
This is an adventure filled day! With an array of well-maintained forest trails Nyungwe boasts of the Imbaraga, Kamiranzovu and Umuyove Trails all highly recommended for bird watching. On this day, you’ll follow the Igishigishigi trail which is the most famous and scenic trail located in the heart of Nyungwe forest.
Igishigishigi trail starts from Uwinka park headquarters and extends up to a point where the canopy forest walk starts. Igishigishigi trail is 2.4 km long and takes 2.5 hours to be completed including the canopy walk. During the walk, expect to view the most elusive primates in the tree tops, numerous birdlife and butterflies in their natural habitat. This is a magnificent nature walk that one shouldn’t miss.
In the afternoon, take on a birding excursion in Nyungwe forest. This compact rainforest is by far Rwanda’s top destination for bird watching with over 300 bird species, including up to 27 Albertine Rift endemics and Rwenzori endemics. The dense forest cover may at times pose difficulties in getting good views of birds (or any other animal); however avid birders will always get feathered into excitement by many of the park’s birds.
Day 9: Chimpanzee Trekking & Canopy Walk
Start the day with an early breakfast at your lodge and later set off for this amazing and memorable experience. Chimpanzees are the prime residents of Nyungwe forest, for which it is primarily known for, but there is more wildlife to encounter while in the forest. Nyungwe is a proud home to up to 13 primate species making it the primate capital of Rwanda. It’s in only in Nyungwe forest that visitors have a chance to spot grey cheeked Mangabeys and Ruwenzori colobus Monkeys.
Other primates in this forest include; Owl faced monkeys, blue monkeys, L’ hoest’s monkeys plus the Mona monkey, among others. After this fabulous forest adventure, you will relax at the lodge as you enjoy the cool evening breeze from the forest or take a cultural walk to meet the neighboring communities.
Day 10: Transfer to Kigali
Have a relaxed breakfast and immediately drive south to Kigali. Pass via Butare (Rwanda’s second largest city) for cultural experience or visit an ethnographic museum in Nyanza and have an En route lunch. Continue to Kigali and upon arrival, you will embark on an evening city tour in Kigali, if you didn’t have time to do it on the first day.
The city tour includes a visit to the Kigali Genocide Memorial museum, documenting the horrible history of the 1994 genocide that befell this beautiful nation. Also visit the Kigali craft market to purchase some traditional souvenirs which you can take with you back home. After the city tour, your guide will drive you to Kigali International Airport for an onward flight.