8 days Rwanda big five and primate safari

Safari summary

Spend a great time in Rwanda exploring its 3 national parks that cover the African big five animals (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo), the African unique primates that are the mountain gorillas, golden monkeys and chimpanzees. This will be through gorilla trekking and golden monkeys in Volcanoes national park, chimpanzee tracking and canopy walk in Nyungwe national park, game drives, hot air ballooning adventure and a boat cruise in Akagera national park. There will be optional activities such as a city tour, visiting the Iby’iwachu cultural village and many more others.

Detailed Itinerary

Day1. Arrive in Kigali and head to the hotel

Arrive and head for an optional city tour where you encounter attractions like the national museum, local markets, art and gallery centre, craft shops, beautiful scenery covered with a thousand hills and many more. Head to the lodge for dinner.

Day2. Head to Akagera national park and evening game drive

Leave the hotel in the morning and transfer to Akagera national park home to the big five animals and the rare shoebill stock. This is the only savannahs national park in the land of a thousand hills-Rwanda and it’s located on the border of Tanzania hence getting its name from the Akagera River.

Arrive and take an evening game drive after enjoying lunch. The game drive will last for about 2 hours and this will entitle you a chance to spot animals like zebras, giraffes and several antelopes like the bushbucks, roan antelope, Topis, klipspringer, Oribis, Cape eland, water-buck, elephants, lions and many more others. Enjoy the sunset moments in the plains of Akagera. Head to the lodge for dinner

Day3. Morning hot air ballooning tour and boat cruise

Wake up with a short game drive to the starting point of a hot air ballooning adventure. Be briefed by one of the crew members and then fly in the air with an eagle-eye view of the surrounding great aerial photographs. This experience will last for 2 hours and then you will head back to the lodge for a break lunch.

Take a boat cruise on Lake Ihema for another adventure as you will encounter water-loving animals like hippos and crocodiles. Birds like Papyrus Gonolek, Shoebill Storkand a good number of Palearctic migrants, amongst which Lesser Kestrel among others won’t be missed while on this tour.

Day4. Game drive and transfer to Volcanoes NP

Take part in the morning game drive where you encounter great animal viewing. There is a lot to be seen including great moments like the sunrise. Animals that won’t be missed include lions, leopards, elephants, buffalos, Masai giraffes, zebras, warthogs and more. Head to Volcanoes national park home to the endangered mountain gorillas and the golden monkeys. Arrive and head to the lodge for your accommodation.

Day5. Gorilla trekking

Wake up on breakfast and then a short drive to the offices of the park for briefing. You encounter the does and don’ts, allocation of the park ranger guide, all the required information about the forest like the history behind the gorilla conservation and groups and many more. Begin the search with the help of the park guide and porters while spotting more attractions like birds and plants.

Meet a gorilla family who trekked and spend an hour in their presence for a great adventure. If the family had kids, meet the female breast feeding, the Silverback the head of the group will be practicing its leadership skills and take or record memorable moments. Later on, head to the lodge for a leisurely evening with an optional visit to Iby’iwachu cultural village for a great cultural adventure.

Day6. Golden monkey trekking and head to Nyungwe national park

Head back to that park office where you encounter a briefing about today’s morning activity of trekking the golden monkeys. During the briefing, be told about the dos and don’ts and among them is the use of the flashlight camera is highly advised since these primates will tend to come closer. Begin the search and meet the golden monkeys, spend an hour in their presence and this will create everlasting memories.

After heading to Nyungwe national park another great way to adventure primates. This is home to 13 primates like Kibale National Park in the pearl of Africa-Uganda. Take part in two main activities in this destination and that is chimpanzee tracking and canopy walk. Arrive in the evening and head to check in the lodge.

Day7. Chimpanzee tracking and forest canopy walk

Breakfast will be served upon waking up and then transfer to the park offices where you encounter the dos and don’ts which will not be different from that of gorilla trekking in Volcanoes national park. Among the rules and regulations are; don’t make noise, don’t mimic, always keep a distance from the chimps, carry enough drinking water and many more others.

Begin the search and spend an hour in the presence of the community trekked giving you a chance to learn about their behaviors and movements. Other primates such as red-tailed monkeys, Black and white colobus monkeys, varvet monkeys, red colobus monkeys and many more will be spotted.

After the experience, a lunch break will follow and then embark on the afternoon forest canopy walk where t bridge ropes are suspended on the top of the forest giving an aerial view of Nyungwe forest. The birds will be singing in the air as the monkeys will be jumping from one tree to another. The experience will last for about 2 hours but very interesting and rewarding.

Day8. Leave for a departure flight home

Have your breakfast on this last day of your safari and then depart to Kigali for your flight back home and this marks the end of the safari.