9-Day Rwanda: the Full Works on a Shoestring

Arrive in Kigali

You will be met and transferred to your first lodge.

There are African cities, noisy, bustling and glorious in their own right, and then there’s Kigali. Having not only survived its turbulent political past, the capital has positively blossomed into one of Africa’s most cosmopolitan hotspots. Safe and clean (the last Saturday of every month is reserved for hedge-clipping, rubbish-collecting and other novel community activities), it’s also remarkably picturesque, surrounded by emerald-green hills and sweeping valleys.

This large, modern hotel in central Kigali lies just 10 kilometres from Kigali International Airport. The rooms are quiet, so take some down time, enjoy the varied cuisine at the restaurants, wander around the lush gardens and laze around the pool. And do visit the blissful spa.

Main Destination:

Kigali

Accommodation:

Heaven Boutique Hotel

• Luxury hotel located in or near the park

Meals & Drinks:

• Breakfast (Lunch & dinner not included)

• Drinks not included

Day 2 - 4: Volcanoes National Park

Make all your wildlife dreams come true with gorilla treks in an enchanting forest setting.

Straddling the border of Uganda, DRC and Rwanda, the Virungas are the luscious, magical and utterly spellbinding home of 480 mountain gorillas (sadly, that's more than half the world’s remaining population). On the Rwandan side, the Parc National des Volcans, or Volcanoes National Park, is the place to go for face-to-face encounters with these wonderful primates – an experience worthy of every superlative in the dictionary. But don’t stop at the gorillas; the Virungas are also home to the rare golden monkey.

Mountain Gorilla View Lodge is just 10 minutes by road from the main entrance of Volcanoes National Park. Above you towers Mount Karasimbi, the highest volcanic mountain in Virunga massif. The lodge is comfortable, with roomy and comfortable accommodation (don't expect glamour), the food is good, the staff are warm and on hand, and the views are simply splendid.

Main Destination:

Volcanoes National Park

Accommodation:

Mountain Gorilla View Lodge

• Mid-range lodge located just outside Volcanoes NP

Meals & Drinks:

• All meals included

• Drinks not included

Day 5 - 6: Lake Kivu

An enormous, freshwater lake in the heart of the Albertine Rift, Lake Kivu is bordered by Rwanda to one side, and the DRC to the other. The setting is dramatic and beautiful: steep escarpments and terraced tea plantations plunge into the glassy water, pretty islets and peninsulas are draped in thick forest, and crescents of golden sand peek out from under the greenery.

Set on a steep hill leading down to the shore of Lake Kivu, stone-built Cormoran Lodge accommodates just 16 guests in wooden cabins. From the lodge, steps lead down to a small private man-made beach beside the lake, which begs you to swim, paddle around its shores in a kayak, or try a spot of waterskiing or boating. The Cormoran is not a luxury lodge, but it's clean, comfortable and full of African character, so it's perfect for a few days' stopover if you're exploring Nyungwe Forest and the Virunga Volcanoes.

Main Destination:

Lake Kivu

Accommodation:

Cormoran Lodge

• Mid-range lodge located in or near Volcanoes NP

Meals & Drinks:

• Breakfast (Lunch & dinner not included)

• Drinks not included

Day 7 -8: Nyungwe Forest

Nyungwe National Park is Rwanda's most important area of biodiversity, and is currently the highest priority for forest conservation in Africa. A pretty good claim to fame, and for good reason too. The vast rainforest is truly enchanting: dense stands of mahoganies tangled with ancient ferns tower overhead; herbaceous plants and cornucopias of colourful orchids and butterflies charm every sense. As for wildlife, more than a quarter of Africa’s primates live here. The big drawcard is chimpanzee trekking, but 400-strong troops of monkeys, baboon, mongoose, otter, bushpig, civet and genet also deserve your attention. And don't forget East Africa’s highest canopy walk offering vertiginous views of the enchanting scenery.

The hotel lies on a small plateau with some of the most beautiful views in the Nyungwe Forest area—the largest single forest block in East Africa and Rwanda's biggest water reservoir. The hotel is modern and the ideal base for exploratory tours.

Main Destination:

Nyungwe Forest National Park

Accommodation:

Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel

• Mid-range hotel located just outside Nyungwe Forest NP

Meals & Drinks:

• Breakfast (Lunch & dinner not included)

• Drinks not included

Back to Kigali

Today you will travel back to Kigali for your final day of your trip.

Main Destination:

Kigali

Accommodation:

No accommodation (End of tour)

Meals & Drinks:

• Breakfast (Lunch & dinner not included)

• Drinks not included

End of tour

• Additional accommodation can be arranged for an extra cost.

• You'll be dropped off at the airport (or hotel).

Listing created Jun 24, 2019

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