Rwanda Tours: See Gorillas and Beyond

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Rwanda the land of thousand hills is one of the amazing gorilla tour destinations in East Africa and rebranded as the new luxury gorilla trek destination with its three main national parks together with its famous political history as well as their culture. This Rwanda safari will take you to Volcanoes National Park for gorilla trekking, Nyungwe Forest National Park for chimpanzee trekking as well as Akagera National Park for the big five and other wildlife encounter.

Once you land in Kigali city, you will have time to tour this beautiful clean city as you admire its settings as well as visiting the historical sites and markets around the city. This will give you a brief background of Rwanda and where it is right now. You time here will set your boundaries and choose either to start with the city tour or do it at the end.

Start your Rwanda safari with the wildlife encounter in Akagera National Park where you will have a golden chance to see the big five in the savannah grassland. Its nature is a blend of swamps, lakes, savannah plains and a rugged terrain encircled by neatly terraced hills.

Here you can either decide to stay in luxury, mid-range or budget safari lodges and camps and of all sort of accommodation we are here to help you customize the best of your expectations. Staying at luxury and exclusive option think none other than the Magashi Camp that is situated at the shores of Lake and offering humble stay in well designed safari camps overlooking the lake in the wilderness.

Take a morning game drive, you get to be driven along the tracks, through the green savannah plains, past wide-leaved woodlands and into the habitat of bountiful mammal species in the Akagera National Park.

Wildlife in Uganda

Some of the animals to look out for while on a day game drive include; The Defassa Water buck, Topi, Bohor Reed bucks, Oribi, Semi-Aquatic Sitatunga, Eland, Giraffes, Buffaloes, Elephants, Lions and the recently reintroduced Rhinos are some of the mammals found in the park.

An afternoon boat safari is a relaxing yet rewarding way to view wildlife. It is an even more rewarding experience when on the lake. Lake Ihema is the second largest lake in Rwanda known for its abundant hippo population and crocodile dotted shores.

The boat safari on Lake Ihema offers the opportunity to take up-close photos of these animals. As other animals come to the lake for a drink or bath, you can take a look at those that you may have missed while out on a game drive in the wild.

Your overnight stay in one of the best lodges in Akagera National Park. These lodges range from luxury Magashi safari camp, mid-range (Ruzizi lodge) and budget Karenge Bush Camp. Your budget will give the type of lodge to go to while at Akagera National Park.

Crossing to Nyungwe Forest National Park for another interesting experience. It is the place where this entire fauna and flora thrives and blooms. It takes a drive on roads winding through tea estates and a roadside parade of Rwenzori Colobus monkeys to get to the Southwestern end of Rwanda where the park is located.

Chimpanzee trekking is the main activity here. The experience starts at 5am which implies that you should be up earlier. Each trekking group can only have a maximum of 8 members.

Nyungwe Forest National Park is a rain forest with a slippery terrain that will require sturdy hiking shoes, a rain poncho in the likely event of a downpour, long sleeved thick shirts for the cold weather, long trousers to protect you from the long creeping undergrowth if you happen to go off the beaten path and binoculars for a better view of the chimps should you find them high up in the trees.

In the afternoon, take up the canopy walk experience, a 2-hour stroll on a 200meters long trail 50 meters above the forest cover and one of the most exhilarating activities to do at Nyungwe Forest National Park.

The view at the top gives you the eagle’s eye experience; panoramic views that a hike on ground would not offer. For safety reasons, children below the age of 6 years are not allowed to participate in the canopy walk.

Nyungwe Forest is among the top birding destinations in Rwanda with over 310 bird species for the bird lover on safari. There are several trails in the park upon which you can hike to see the birds. The more trails you hike, the more birds you are likely to see. Due to the forested terrain of the park, it may be hard to easily find certain species. Make use of the guides since they know more of this park.

An overnight stay at Nyungwe Forest National Park is paramount at One & Only Nyungwe House if you are a luxury type. Others like Gisakura Guest House would work best for budget clients and Nyungwe Top View Hill Lodge for mid-range.

Head to Volcanoes National Park for the gorilla trekking experience. The Volcanoes National Park is one of the 4 national parks where mountain gorillas can be sighted. There are 10 habituated gorilla groups available for tracking under the guidance of experienced and motivated rangers.

For you to take part in this activity, you need to have a permit costing $1500 which you should have booked in advance for you to get that golden chance of associating with these great apes.

For you to be able to take part after buying the permit, you must be fit since it involves hiking through the bamboo forest taking from one 1-6 hours to find them. Once you locate them, take one hour to watch them play, grove, feed and many more.

Golden Monkey tracking is another enticing activity that can be done before or after gorilla trekking. Tracking the golden monkeys is less strenuous than the gorillas because they don’t go to high altitudes in search of fresh food like the gorillas.

They prefer to feed on the Bamboo shoots that grow at the base of the volcanoes. Golden monkey permits don’t need to be booked in advance like that of the gorillas but we recommended early booking just in case.

Visiting the Tomb of Dian Fossey can take you through an afternoon after gorilla trekking in the morning. Choose to go to pay homage to this great conservationist by visiting her grave and former Karisoke Research Centre located between Mount Karisimbi and Mount Bisoke. The guided hike lasts about 3 hours and costs $75. As you climb the volcanoes to her former base, you will get to experience what she had to go through, her determination and the passion she had for the gorillas.

After all the treks in volcanoes, one way to relax is to visit the twin Lakes of Ruhondo and Burera. A boat cruise through the deep waters of these two lakes will reward you with beautiful sights of birds and the vast hilly landscape with waterfalls.

Visiting the lake islands gives you time to mingle with the locals to learn about their rich heritage and culture that defines them and makes them different from the other tribes in Rwanda.

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