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Home » Rwanda Safaris, Gorillas & Wildlife Safaris in Rwanda – Safari Packages » 12 Days Rwanda Safari Tour, Gorilla Trekking, Wildlife Safari in Rwanda, Chimpanzees, Community Cultural Rwanda Tours

12 Days Rwanda Safari Tour, Gorilla Trekking, Wildlife Safari in Rwanda, Chimpanzees, Community Cultural Rwanda Tours

12 Days Rwanda Safari Tour – Overview

The 12 Days Rwanda Safari Tour is an 11  nights/12 days Rwanda tour that offers gorilla trekking in Rwanda, a wildlife safari in Rwanda, Golden Monkey tracking, beautiful scenery viewing, and a community cultural Rwanda tour.

The 12 days Rwanda safari tour is a comprehensive Rwanda safari package that offers you that long-awaited chance to trek the world’s most endangered species of Mountain Gorillas.

The 12 days safari in Rwanda tours will enable you to experience the different cultural activities and most outstanding national parks in Rwanda.

The highly rewarding safari package will take you through Akagera National Park-home to unique wildlife species such as Impala, Topi, eland species, oribi, Masai giraffe, bushbuck, Defassa waterbuck, reedbuck, sable, antelope, Burchall’s zebra, hippos and the crocodiles.

Nyungwe forest national park is dubbed the primate capital of Rwanda with the largest count of habituated chimpanzees, Lake Kivu the home of adventure in Rwanda, and the Volcanoes National Park-natural home of the world’s critically endangered mountain gorillas.

The 12 days safari in Rwanda will combine Rwanda’s most thrilling tourist activities with ultimate cultural experiences and taste of world-class services from some of the best lodges/hotels in Rwanda- the land of thousand hills.

12 Days Rwanda Safari Tour – Safari Highlights

  • Day 1: Arrival in Kigali International Airport& transfer to your Hotel
  • Day 2: Transfer to Akagera National Park & do a boat cruise, Behind the Scenes experience
  • Day 3: Do an early morning game drive & transfer to Butare.
  • Day 4: Explore Butare & Transfer to Nyungwe
  • Day 5: Do an Early morning Chimpanzee trekking &Afternoon Canopy Walk
  • Day 6: Transfer to Gisenyi-Lake Kivu.
  • Day 7: An Early Morning boat cruise to the Virgin Islands
  • Day 8: Transfer to Volcanoes national park & Have an afternoon cultural encounter
  • Day 9: Early Morning Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes National Park
  • Day 10: Early Morning Golden Monkey trekking &Afternoon Musanze Cave tour.
  • Day 11: Trek to Dian Fossey Tomb &Transfer to Kigali City
  • Day 12: Early Morning Kigali City Tour & Departure

12 Days Rwanda Safari Tour – Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Kigali International Airport & Transfer to Your Hotel

Upon your landing at Kigali international airport, you will be met by our professional driver guide who will warmly welcome you and then transfer you to your pre-booked Kigali hotel for refreshments, dinner, and overnight stay.

Accommodations: Kigali Serena Hotel (Luxury/Upmarket), Hotel chez Lando (Mid-Range/Standard), Hotel Okapi (Budget)

Day 2: Transfer to Akagera National Park & Do Boat Cruise, Behind The Scenes experience.

akagera-boat-cruise

Right after taking an early morning breakfast, the driver guide will pick you up from your Kigali hotel/lodge and embark on a transfer drive of 130kms about the 2-3hours drive from Kigali to Akagera Nation Park.

The drive to the eastern part of Rwanda is very pleasing as it will take you through the picturesque landscape of Rwanda. Upon your arrival at the park, you will be advanced with the drive to your lodge to check-in, have lunch & relaxation.

After lunch, embark on an afternoon boat trip along the waters of Lake Ihema-Rwanda’s second-largest freshwater body.

The boat trip will give you an opportunity to get close to the various water bird species including African fish eagles, open-billed stork marabou stork, cormorants, crowned cranes, egrets, and herons among others.

The boat trip will also reward you with the views and sights of the unique wild game like Hippos, Nile Crocodiles, elephants, and Buffaloes when they are drinking on the shores of the lake.

After the boat trip, you will retire back to the park head Quarters for the Behind the Scenes experience. Here you will get more insights into Akagera, including conservation developments within the park; you will meet some of the important individuals integral to the management of the park. Retreat back to your lodge for dinner and overnight after the activity.

Accommodation: Akagera game Lodge (Luxury), Ruzizi Tented Lodge (Mid-Range), Shakani Campsite (Budget).

Day 3: Do An Early Morning Game Drive & Transfer to Butare.

Akagera national parkFollowing a cup of coffee, embark on an early morning game drive along with a well-designed network of tracks in Akagera national park.

The game drive will provide you the possibility of meeting early morning wildlife risers when they are embarking on their daily activities of searching for food among others.

You may also confront the nocturnal wildlife species when they are coming back to their hiding grounds.

The range of wildlife that you stand a pretty chance to watch includes elephants, buffalo, zebra, bush baby, hippos, and crocodiles among other mammal species. On rare occasions, you can see species such as leopard, lion, and black rhino.

As one of the most scenic savanna parks in East Africa, the game drive in Akagera will provide you pretty opportunity to see gentle hills blending in beautifully lowland swamps and water bodies.

After enjoying the highly interesting game drive, you will return to the lodge for relaxation, lunch, and thereafter embark on the transfer to Butare town. On arrival to Butare, you will drive to your lodge for dinner and overnight.

Accommodations: Mator Boni Consilii (Luxury/Upmarket), Hotel Ibis (Mid-Range/Standard) Guest House Centre Diaconal (Budget/Standard).

Day 4: Explore Butare & Transfer to Nyungwe

Visit Nyungwe Forest on a trip to RwandaAfter taking breakfast, set off to explore Butare city in the Southern Province of Rwanda.

You will visit unexplored places like the National Museum of Rwanda- which shows the cultural history of Rwanda and the region.

From the Museum you will head to the National University of Rwanda (NUR). After exploring the city, you retire back to your lodge for lunch and relaxation as you wait for the transfer to Nyungwe.

After lunch, turn to transfer drive from Butare to Nyungwe national park a drive distance of 155kms about 3-4 hours’ drive without en route stopovers.

The drive to Nyungwe will take you through picturesque landscapes dotted with local settings and local populations.

On arrival at the park, you will drive to your pre-booked lodge for dinner and an overnight stay.

Accommodations: Mator Boni Consilii (Luxury/Upmarket), Hotel Ibis (Mid-Range/Standard) Guest House Centre Diaconal (Budget).

Day 5: Do an Early Morning Chimpanzee Trekking &Afternoon Canopy Walk.

canopy-walk-and-chimp-tracking

After your early morning breakfast, you will drive to the park headquarters for an early morning briefing about the rules to follow when trekking the chimps.

After the briefing, you will be led by the ranger guide through the beautiful forest trail to trek the fascinating chimpanzee creatures.

Along the trails, you will enjoy the nice melodies of different bird species housed in the forest and you will also have a chance to enjoy the views of other primates like grey-cheeked mangabey, and monkeys.

The activity takes between 2-6 hours but experienced guides will also make sure that they take you where you will have to see the primates as fast as possible.

A face-to-face encounter with the chimpanzees is very amazing because you will observe them play, feed and rest.

After this worthwhile experience, you will head back to the lodge for lunch and later explore the canopy walks to see the beautiful twin lakes as well as various bird species.

Accommodation: Nyungwe Forest Lodge, (Luxury) Nyungwe Top View Hotel (Mid-Range),Gisakura Guest House(Budget)

Day 6: Transfer to Gisenyi-Lake Kivu.

Depart Nyungwe Forest Park to Gisenyi in Lake Kivu after your early morning breakfast. The overland journey of 189 km will offer you a breathtaking view of the “million” hills that decorate Rwanda.

On arrival to Gisenyi town, you will drive direct to your pre-booked lodge within Lake Kivu for lunch, and relaxation.

After lunch, embark on an afternoon boat ride around the Virgin Islands like Napoleon’s Hat Island. After enjoying the adventurous boat ride on the waters of Lake Kivu, retire back to the lodge for dinner and overnight.

Accommodations: Lake Kivu Serena Hotel (Luxury), Cormoran Lodge (Mid-Range)

Day 7: An Early Morning Boat Cruise To the Virgin Islands

After early morning breakfast, embark on a boat cruise to explore the Virgin Islands like Napoleon’s Hat Island.

While at Hat Island, you may ascend to the peak of the hat to view thousands of Angola bats in the blue skies.

You can also enjoy swimming in the Crocodile-free, bilharzia-free water of Lake Kivu, and after exploring the adventurous activities retire back to the lodge for lunch and relaxation.

Day 8: Transfer to Volcanoes National Park & Afternoon Cultural Walk

Right after taking your breakfast, turn on your transfer drive from Lake Kivu to Volcanoes national park.

The drive distance of 62 kilometers about 1and half hours’ drive will lead you to the natural home of Mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park.

On arrival at the park, you will drive to your lodge to relax and have lunch. After lunch, you will embark on an evening cultural encounter with the local communities around the volcanoes national park.

The cultural encounter will give you a rare opportunity to interact with the local people in their natural environment, with a taste of their unique culture and traditions.

On arrival to the village, you will be genuinely welcomed by the community as a special Visitor. After cultural refreshment and entrainment, you will retire back to your lodge for dinner and overnight.

Accommodations: Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge (Upmarket/Luxury), Mountain Gorilla View Lodge (Standard/Mid-range), Muhabura Hotel (Budget).

Day 9: Early Morning Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes National Park
gorilla-trekking-volcanoes-rwanda

On this long-awaited day, you will start it by taking a hearty breakfast and then transfer to the park headquarter for an early morning briefing regarding gorilla trekking etiquette in Volcanoes Park.

While at the park headquarters, you will meet other trekkers and be divided into groups of eight individuals who are allowed to trek one habituated mountain gorilla group.

After the briefing, you will be led by a ranger guide to hike through the verdant jungle searching for mountain gorillas.

The activity which will take 2-8 hours needs someone to be physically fit since it involves hiking the hills and slopping the Valleys.

The gorilla trekking process is tedious but impressive when you finally set your small eyes direct to bit big round eyes of the mountain gorillas.

When you eventually meet the gorillas, you will be allowed one hour with them, seeing them feed, play and look for their young ones.

While staying with the gorillas, you will be required to maintain a distance of 7 meters away, and also turn off the flash of your camera as you take pictures.

Right after one hour, you will retire back to the starting point and transfer to your lodge for late lunch and relaxation.

Accommodations: Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge (Upmarket/Luxury), Mountain Gorilla View Lodge (Standard/Mid-range), Muhabura Hotel (Budget).

Day 10: Early Morning Golden Monkey Trekking &Afternoon Musanze Cave Tour.
golden-monkey-trekking-rwanda

After early morning breakfast, you will report to the park headquarter for an early morning briefing about the rules and regulations of Golden Monkey trekking in Volcanoes national park.

Thereafter, the ranger guides will lead to the trails to search for the Golden monkeys. Once up close, you will be allocated one hour to spend with the primates.

After one hour, you will retire back to the lodge for lunch and relaxation. Thereafter, embark on a Musanze Cave tour through the tourist walkways, trails, and stairs that take you to the dark interior of the caves that illustrates a picture of a house with several rooms and corridors.

The tour will offer you an in-depth understanding of the geological, geographical as well as historical development of the globe. After exploring the cave, retreat back to the lodge for dinner and overnight.

Accommodations: Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge (Upmarket/Luxury), Mountain Gorilla View Lodge (Standard/Mid-range), Muhabura Hotel (Budget).

Day 11: Trek to Dian Fossey Tomb & Transfer to Kigali City.

Kigali CityFollowing an early morning breakfast, embark on a trek to Dian Fossey Tomb.

The trek will offer you a golden opportunity to visit the Dian Fossey Tomb and visit the house where this prominent American researcher was killed and also listen to the experienced guide explain to you the history of the fallen conservationist.

After exploring Karisoke Research Centre, you will retire back to the lodge for lunch and relaxation. After lunch, embark on a transfer drive to Kigali.

The driver-guide will drive slowly to allow you to capture the best scenic views along the way. On arrival in the city; the driver’s guide will take you to the pre-booked lodge for dinner and an overnight stay.

Accommodations: Kigali Serena Hotel (Luxury/Upmarket), Hotel chez Lando (Mid-Range/Standard), Hotel Okapi (Budget)

Day 12: Early Morning Kigali City Tour & Departure

Right after early morning breakfast, you will embark on a city tour. The city tour will take you through the Gisozi genocide memorial center where you will have time to listen to the comprehensive history of Rwanda during the 1994 genocide and the events of the massacres, including personal accounts.

You will view the Photographs, video clips, and artifacts of the genocide. Right after visiting the Gisozi genocide memorial, you will advance to tour other interesting places like Nyamata church and Presidential Palace, and explore the Natural History Museum also known as ‘Kandt house’ the first modern house built in Kigali since its existence as a capital city.

You may visit art and craft centers like Caplaki and Inganzo gallery where you will spend time learning how to make peace baskets and make Imigongo that Rwandans use for home decoration and visit local  Markets Like Cyimironko Local Market and Kicukiro Local Market.

After exploring such sites, you will have lunch and after lunch transfer to the Airport for your onward flight back home.

End of The 12 Days Rwanda Wildlife Safari

Getting There

Safari Inclusions

  • Chimpanzee Permit (for chimpanzee trekking safaris)
  • Gorilla Permit (for gorilla trekking safaris)
  • Full Board Accommodation on Safari
  • Transportation in either 4X4 Safari Van or 4X4 Safari Land Cruiser all with Pop up roof & AC
  • Fuel
  • Professional English Speaking driver guide. Any other foreign language speaking guide can be arranged on request.
  • Entrance fees to the tourist sites including Protected areas mentioned
  • Activity fees of the tourist activities mentioned
  • Bottled water while on safari
  • Border crossing fees (for cross border safaris)

Safari Exclusions

  • General tips for the driver guide, site guides, and service staff at the lodges
  • Laundry Services
  • Other Beverages/drinks of personal nature like Alcohol
  • International Flights (Arranged on request)
  • Domestic Flights (Arranged on request)
  • Visas
  • Optional Activity fees
  • Other extras not mentioned in the Itinerary
  • Airport Transfer (Arranged on request)
  • Accommodation in Kampala or Kigali unless it is part of the Itinerary (Arranged on request)
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