8 Days Rwanda Hiking Safari
8 Days Rwanda Hiking Safari: Take a holiday to one of Africa’s best destinations – Rwanda. Visit Rwanda for a week’s exploring Rwanda’s best travel destinations that are Volcanoes national park and Nyungwe forest national park for a primate safari and Rwanda hiking experience. This 8 Days Best of Rwanda Safaris package will allow you to understand and appreciate Rwanda more than just reading about it. Volcanoes national park is the most popular park best known for gorilla trekking along with in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The park has about 10 habituated gorilla families for tourism readily waiting to be visited by tourists. Apart from gorilla trekking, Volcanoes national park is also a home to the endangered golden monkeys and a few of the forest animals and the park hosts about 200 different bird species.
Trekking to Dian Fossey’s tomb in Rwanda is one of the most popular after safari activities in Volcanoes national park, there’s a trail to her former research camp and tomb. The campsite is at an altitude of about 3000 meters and was abandoned during the Rwandan genocide in the 1990s. Though it is a bit ruined, they have reconstructed it for tourism. Here’s everything you need to know about Dian Fossey and visiting her tomb. Dian Fossey was a primatologist who loved animals right from the time she was a child. In later life, she met Doctor Louis Seymour Bazett Leakey who was impressed by her love for animals and sold her the idea of studying primates in Africa. She took up the challenge and specialized in mountain gorillas that were on the verge of extinction. Dian Fossey spent nearly 18 years studying the gorillas in Congo and Rwanda. She established the Karisoke Research Centre in between the two mountains Karisimbi and Bisoke in the year 1967. Thus, Dian Fossey was the first human to study and understand the complex behaviour of mountain gorillas including their body language, played with them and managed to win their acceptance. Mount Bisoke Trekking involves hiking to the summit of a Mount Bisoke, a dormant volcano in the Virunga Mountains reaching to 3,711m, with a pretty crater lake at the top, straddling the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, it is one of eight prominent peaks in the area with fabulous views.
Nyungwe forest national park on the other hands is home to the endangered chimpanzees and 12 other species of primates. Trekking chimpanzees in Nyungwe forest is one of the most scenic experiences under the montane rainforest and walking on a canopy above the forest is an added beautiful experience.
The Black and white Colobus monkeys in Nyungwe forest are also known as Ruwenzori Colobus monkeys and are the biggest troop of the Monkeys in the park. Their number is estimated to range from 350-400 individuals and they are also the biggest troop of monkeys in the African countries.
Safari Highlights of the 8 Days Rwanda Hiking Safari
- Day 1: Transfer to Volcanoes national park
- Day 2: Gorilla trekking experience
- Day 3: Dian Fossey research and tomb Hike
- Day 4: Mount Bisoke Hike
- Day 5: Transfer to Nyungwe forest national park
- Day 6: Chimpanzee trekking and Isumo trail
- Day 7: Colobus Monkeys
- Day 8: Return to Kigali – Departure
Day 1: Transfer to Volcanoes national park
Upon arrival at Kigali international airport with your morning confirmed booked flight or Depending on your location in Kigali, you will be met by your safari driver who will be your guide throughout the trip, meet and greet, pack your luggage in the safari vehicle and Volcanoes national park. It’s a 2-3 hours’ drive from Kigali to Musanze where we find the home of the endangered mountain gorillas.
Arrive in Musanze at good time for lunch after checking-in your booked accommodation. Later afternoon, visit Iby’wacu Cultural Village-a Non-Profit umbrella organization that aims at improving the lives of reformed poachers and communities around Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park through provision of conservation incentives, supporting community enterprise development and livelihood based projects. It’s a rewarding place where you will be guided around the place as you enjoy the Kinyarwanda traditions including the Intore dance, traditional ceremonies and a guided community walk. Connect to your booked accommodation for dinner and overnight stay at 5 Volcanoes Gorilla lodge/Virunga lodge for Luxury option/Le Bambou Gorilla lodge for the mid-range option/Hotel Muhabura/Kinigi Guesthouse for the budget option
Day 2: Gorilla trekking experience
After early morning breakfast, you will be transferred to the Kinigi park headquarters with your trekking gears for a briefing about the endangered mountain gorillas. You have been allocated a gorilla family to trek, connect to the starting point and start trekking along with the guidance of the armed ranger guides together with the ranger guides. This activity may take between 2-8 hours searching for the gorillas depending on their movement. However meeting them is so rewarding and you will spend maximally 1 hour with them as you take time studying them and taking pictures and videos. After spending your time with the fascinating mountain gorillas, return to the base and meet your driver to connect to your lodge for lunch and refresh. Spend the rest of your day at leisure. Dinner and overnight stay at booked lodge as above
Day 3: Dian Fossey hiking experience
After morning breakfast, drive to the park head office for a briefing your backpack. You will go through a similar procedure as of the previous day. Hiking to Dian Fossey hike involves trekking to Dian Fossey’s former research camp and tomb. The trek is challenging and lasts 5 to 6 hours with all kinds of animals to see on the way. The campsite is located at an altitude of about 3,000 meters and while at the research camp, you will get to learn and know everything about Dian Fossey ans alos get to see her tomb that was buried next to her favourite gorilla. After the hike, you will connect back to the lodge for dinner and overnight at booked lodge as above
Day 4: Mount Bisoke Hike
You will enjoy breakfast and set out for Mount Bisoke hike which is part of volcanoes national park. After briefing about hike with your hiking gears, set off for the hike. It’s a day hike through the steep slopes of the mountain. On reaching the summit, you will discover a beautiful crater lake and the whole experience is overwhelming! Return and relax at your lodge with great memories. Dinner and overnight stay at lodge as above
Day 5: Transfer to Nyungwe forest national park
After enjoying your delicious breakfast, embark on your journey to Nyungwe forest national park which is a 6-7 hours’ drive from Musanze. Drive through the rolling hills and great views of Virunga Mountains. Upon arrival in Nyumgwe forest, connect to your booked lodge for dinner and overnight stay at your booked at One and Only Nyungwe House for luxury option/Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel for mid-range option/Gisakura Visitors Centre for budget option
Day 6: Chimpanzee trekking and Isumo trail
Enjoy breakfast and go for briefing about the endangered chimpanzees before entering the forest in search of the active and playful fellows in Nyungwe forest with your backpack. The Chimpanzees are much easier to spot as they jump from one tree to another, chattering and laughing. Chimpanzee tracking usually takes about 3-5 hours depending on their location. On finding them, spend an hour while taking pictures and videos. Connect to visit Nyungwe’s biggest waterfalls on Isumo trail. This is one of the most refreshing experience with sights of different birds and some primates. The walk is approximately 4 hours walking up and down the Nyungwe forest. Thereafter, return to your hotel for relaxation and good memories. Dinner and overnight stay at lodge as above
Day 7: Colobus Monkeys and Canopy walk
After breakfast, follow the same procedure as of chimpanzee tracking, receive a briefing then enter the forest to search for the colobus monkey. These primates are quite different to spot as they keep jumping from tree to tree however, the park rangers will do their best to help you get the best view of the primates. This will take 2-5 hours and on finding them, you will be allowed to spend an hour in their presence.
Connect for a canopy walk. You will go on a walking trail that will take you to the Canopy Walk-a swing bridge 50 meters in length that is suspended from large trees; you will be able to see the amazing rainforest with a bird’s eye view, spotting wildlife moving below you. Dinner and overnight stay at provided lodge as above
Day 8: Return to Kigali – Departure
After breakfast, check-out of the lodge and transfer back to Kigali. Upon arrival in Kigali, have lunch and proceed to Kigali airport for your onward flight back home.
End of the 8 Days Rwanda Hiking Safari