Rwanda, the Land of a Thousand Hills, is best known for its mountain gorillas. These creatures, the most endangered of all the gorilla species, live on the forested slopes of the Virunga Mountains in the Volcanoes National Park. The Virungas extend through Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, but half of the world's mountain gorilla population lives within Rwanda's borders. Rwanda's competent and organized handling of wildlife conservation and tourism ensures the popularity of Rwandan gorilla trekking. Rwanda has much to offer besides mountain gorillas. Nyungwe Forest is the largest untouched montane forest (an ecosystem found in mountains) in Africa. Its winding trails and waterfalls make it a wonderful place to hike, bird watch and discover other primates such as Colobus monkeys and chimpanzees. Part of Africa’s Great Rift Valley, Lake Kivu’s emerald-green waters are surrounded by mountains sculpted into terraced plots. Lake Kivu is Rwanda's biggest lake and the sixth biggest in Africa. The scenery is magnificent. Our itinerary follows the Lake Kivu scenic route between Nyungwe Forest and Volcanoes National Parks. Summon your inner Dian Fossey and join us in Rwanda to visit the gorillas in the mist!
Here's a day-by-day itinerary of the trip.
We begin our journey in Rwanda on arrival at Kigali International Airport. A driver will meet you and take you to the elegant Kigali Serena Hotel to check in and relax.
Relax a little before we gather for a refreshing welcome drink to kick off our adventure in Rwanda, followed by a delicious hotel dinner to satisfy our taste buds.
We'll begin our day with an early breakfast as we eagerly await the arrival of our private 4x4 vehicle, prepared for an adventure in nature. Today, we'll explore Rwanda's stunning landscape, stopping to admire the breathtaking views and the natural beauty along the way.
Our journey will take us to Nyungwe Forest National Park. Along the way, we'll enjoy a packed lunch en route to the Nyungwe canopy walk.
Our next stop will be at Nyungwe's famous canopy walkway to admire the panoramic views of ancient treetops and wildlife. After an exhilarating day, we'll arrive to a warm welcome at Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel.
Relax and enjoy the stunning views from your room. Unwind before we gather for a delicious dinner to share our experiences and prepare for tomorrow's adventure.
We'll start our day early with an exhilarating chimpanzee trek in the Nyungwe Forest National Park.
With over 400 chimps in the park, you'll get the chance to observe with these amazing primates and enjoy their playful antics. Tracking them requires a good fitness level, but it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience. During our trek, we may also spot blue, mona, silver, and l’Hoest monkeys in their habitat.
After lunch, we'll visit the Gisakura Tea Plantation, where we'll learn about the Rwanda tea cultivation and processing.
As the day closes, we'll return to our accommodation at Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel. After a long day out in nature, a warm welcome and perhaps a cocktail awaits us. We'll have dinner together before retiring to our rooms to rest and prepare for another day of adventure.
It's hard not to fall in love with Rwanda's incredible landscapes and unique wildlife!
After checking out, we'll begin our thrilling nature-filled adventure, exploring Rwanda by vehicle for most of the day with various stops to admire the stunning environment. Our first stop is the picturesque Lake Kivu, where we'll enjoy a break to soak in the breathtaking waterside views.
In the afternoon, we'll visit the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund for the Silverback Sundowners Tour. This rewarding experience comes with refreshments.
Later, we'll gather for a delicious dinner at the boutique hotel and reflect on our amazing day. We can relax and enjoy the evening in comfort at the hotel, anticipating the adventures that await us in the coming days.
Enjoy an early breakfast before we embark on an exciting golden monkey trekking adventure at the park headquarters. These speedy primates, a subspecies of the blue monkey, are a sight to behold, living in social groups of up to 100 individuals.
After the trek, you'll have the afternoon off to enjoy back at the lodge.
For those interested, a community walking tour, sponsored by the NGO SACOLA, is planned for the afternoon.
In the evening, we'll attend an informative presentation by the Gorilla Doctors before our sumptuous dinner.
Today, we finally come to the highlight of our trip - mountain gorilla trekking!
After an early breakfast, our driver will collect us and transfer us to park headquarters. We're going on a guided hike through dense rainforest to spend time with a specific gorilla troop in their natural environment. Visiting these enigmatic and beautiful creatures is a life-changing experience.
Back at the lodge, we'll enjoy a late lunch and some well-deserved rest.
You'll have the rest of the afternoon to relax and enjoy the lodge's amenities, including a refreshing dip in the pool.
Tonight, we'll enjoy a delicious dinner at the lodge, sharing stories and memories of our unforgettable day.
After breakfast at our accommodation in Volcanoes, we will begin our three-hour road transfer back to Kigali. Along the way, we may have the opportunity to stop at the Genocide Museum and the Kimironko Market. Here, you can buy souvenirs and explore the local culture.
As we say goodbye to Rwanda and board our flight home, we know that the memories we made on this trip will last a lifetime. We depart with a sense of camaraderie and gratitude for the bonds we formed and the unforgettable moments we shared.
Rwanda is a special place with a rich history and culture, and we're lucky to have experienced it firsthand. We will never forget the stunning landscapes, the incredible wildlife, and the warm hospitality of the Rwandan people.
The 5-star Kigali Serena Hotel is perfectly located at the city’s business and social epicentre.
Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel is built on a hill, positioning it to have the most beautiful views in the Nyungwe Forest area. It's is the best accommodation and closest to the forest.
Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel is the perfect starting point for the activities that the Volcanoes National Park offers. It also gives you a chance to rest and enjoy the relaxing lodge atmosphere.
Doni Belau is the creator and founder of Girls' Guide to the World. She is an inveterate traveler, having been to nearly 70 countries (and counting). She loves to help other women experience this sensation as she truly feels it helps us see a larger world of possibilities within ourselves.
Discover the Heart of Africa - Karibu Rwanda!!
Nestled in the heart of East Africa, Rwanda is steeped in natural beauty and cultural heritage. From the lush rainforests of Nyungwe to the misty peaks of Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda's stunning landscapes are home to some of the world's most iconic wildlife.
In Rwanda, we will embark on an adventure of a lifetime. We will come face-to-face with majestic gorillas, trek through dense rainforests, and witness the fascinating traditions and customs of the Rwandan people.
We'll also explore the bustling capital city, Kigali, immersing ourselves in its vibrant atmosphere. Enjoy luxurious lodges with stunning views of the surrounding landscape, and experience the warm hospitality of the Rwandan people.
From the wonders of Nyungwe Forest to the lush green hills of Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda offers a truly unique and unforgettable travel experience. Come and join us on this incredible journey of discovery and witness the magic of Rwanda for yourself.
All meals (except where indicated), including beer & wine with dinner.
All in country transportation
Everything specified in the itinerary
A small group experience
A unique experience at the Dian Fossey foundation
Accommodations at the best hotels Rwanda has on offer
All personal souvenir purchases
Round-trip airfare to Kilgali
Additional wine, beer, and/or spirits beyond what’s offered at meals
Travel and medical insurance (required)
The trip officially starts the afternoon of September 20th, but if you’re traveling across an ocean to get to Tanzania you may want to consider arriving a day or two early, so you have time to relax and adjust to the local time zone. If you do decide to arrive early, just let us know and we’ll help you with arrangements.
Yes, airport transfers are included upon arrival and departure within the dates of the trip. If you choose to come a day early or leave a day late you are responsible for your own transportation.
We will have a zoom call about 6 weeks before the trip starts to discuss all that information and give you a packing list. Here is a great website that we love that will help you with packing and travel trips.
You should fly into the Kigali airport.
In the month of October, the maximum temperature is 92°F and the minimum 65°F (for an average temperature of 79°F). The climate is very warm here in the month of October. It does not rain (or exceptionally) during October so you will stay dry throughout your holidays!