What Are Rwanda Insights to Visit on Your Safari?

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Beyond its lush green and undulating landscapes, Rwanda as a luxury African safari destination, holds treasurers to be discovered. This country of a thousand hills attracts tourists to trek the Volcanoes National Park in search of the mountain gorillas. Other impressive attractions include the golden monkey and the lively chimpanzee found in Nyungwe Forest National Park as well as the wild life encounters in Akagera National Park not forgetting the historical and cultural encounters in the country.

Your visit in Rwanda will start with a city tour that will take you through all those historical encounters, to Nyungwe for chimpanzee trekking, to Akagera for the big five then to volcanoes for gorilla trekking tours and wind up with the cultural encounters. On this safari you will be able to enjoy all the fancy lodges you would think of in this country.

On arrival, our driver guide will welcome you and transfer you to Serena Hotel in Kigali city where you will enjoy your dinner and overnight. Pick you up in the morning after breakfast and spend time touring the most important historical land marks in Kigali.

Visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial that commemorates the victims of the 1994 genocide that killed over 800,000 people in Rwanda. The memorial features a museum, a garden, and mass graves where more than 250,000 victims are buried.

You can learn about the history and causes of the genocide, as well as the stories and testimonies of the survivors. The memorial also promotes peace and reconciliation through education and outreach programs.

Kigali also has other historical sites and monuments that showcase the rich and diverse culture and history of Rwanda. The Kandt House Museum, a former residence of the first German colonial governor of Rwanda displays exhibits on the natural and cultural history of Rwanda, as well as the colonial era.

The Rwanda Art Museum is a former presidential palace that was converted into a museum of contemporary Rwandan art. The museum showcases the creativity and diversity of Rwandan artists, as well as the remains of the presidential plane that was shot down in 1994, triggering the genocide.

You will finally take a visit to hotel Des Mille Collin’s which also has a historical significance in Rwanda where you will have lunch and the head to Nyungwe national park. You can take a four hours’ drive from Kigali to Nyungwe national park and check in at One & Only Nyungwe house where you will have dinner and overnight.

Early morning after breakfast, head to the park headquarters for the chimpanzee trekking guidelines. You must present your trekking permit purchased in advance before your trekking date at $100 in order to trek the chimps. Once all presented and briefing is done you will head to the starting point where the trek will begin from. It will take from 30mins to hours in search for the chimps and once in contact, you will have one hour to associate with them. Watch them play, feed, building nests, feeding young ones and many more as well as taking photos of your choice but with no flashing in their eyes. Back to lodge for lunch then after a tea plantation tour.

You will walk around in the plantations getting the chance to learn how they harvest, plant and process the tea. The processing will be learnt from the factory on the farm and then be able to taste the final product. Back to lodge for dinner and overnight.

Early morning after breakfast, head to Akagera national park for the big five encounter. On arrival check in at Magashi camp for lunch and relaxation. Take a boat cruise on lake Ihema Rwanda’s second largest lake, giving you some spectacular aquatic bird sightings, making it the single best way to explore the park.

You can also observe some of the fauna that lives in the lake’s waters. This will provide you with an excellent opportunity to enhance your animal count from the safari game drives. Keep a watch out for crocodiles, buffaloes, and hippos, as well as colourful kingfishers, gorgeous fish eagles, egrets, Hammerkops and their massive nests, and even the prehistoric-looking Shoe bill during your boat launch. Endangered species include Jacana, Ibis, plovers, herons, malachite kingfishers, hawks, and many others. The boat excursion lasts about 2 to 3 hours and provides you with an unforgettable experience. Back to lodge for dinner and overnight.

Early in the morning after breakfast, go direct to the park for a game drive. It is the only area in Rwanda where you can see the majestic impala and topi, as well as the only place where you can observe the big five. Get ready to see the morning hunters and grazers.  Your tour guide will make an effort to drive through places where most animals spend their days. You will be able to sight the Defassa Water buck, Topis, Bohor Reed bucks, Oribis, Semi-Aquatic Sitatunga, Eland, Giraffes, Buffaloes, Elephants, Lions, and the recently reintroduced Rhinos.

Back to lodges for lunch and transfer to Volcanoes National Park. You will check in at Singita Kwitonda Lodge for dinner and overnight.

Early morning after breakfast, head to the park headquarters for the gorilla trekking briefing. You must present a gorilla permit purchased in advance before your trekking date at $1500 and any other necessary document.

You will be grouped in groups of 8 people maximum and each group is assigned one gorilla family to trek. Rwanda has 10 gorilla families, hence 10 groups of 8 people each are the ones allowed to track on a particular day.

The grouping entirely depends on the fitness and age of the guests. For example, those above 45 years and the ones with less fitness are assigned the ‘easy to find’ gorilla families which do not wander far away from the trail heads. However, even those with special interests about specific groups may inform their guides to help them negotiate with rangers before assigning the groups such that they may be assigned those specific groups too.

Once you start trekking, it may take as little as 30 minutes to find your gorilla family and as long as five to seven hours. The terrain is full of hills and steep volcano slopes where you will be required to pull yourself up steep grades by grasping onto branches, plant roots, bushes and more. Follow the lead of the guide as to the best path and form to take. If you need a break, let your guide know. Carry with you some energy giving snacks and bottled mineral water to quench your thirst and give you more energy.

Once you find the gorilla family the clock starts ticking. Spend one hour with them take photos of your choice but with no flash. Watch them feeding from the ground, resting, moving around or up in the trees playing about in the branches and many more. Once done descend to pick your trekking certificate then back to lodge for lunch.

After visit the IbyI’wacu cultural village. Have a guided community walk to visit different sites and experience the everyday lives of the local people. Culture guide will take you to see the king’s house. It is also a great place for relaxation while offering opportunities to purchase local craft, gifts and souvenir to show friends back home.

Music, dance and drama defines African tradition and culture as it gives one a sense of belonging. For visitors interested in traditional music, the IbyI’wacu cultural centre offers opportunities to listen to several unique local musical sounds. These youthful men and women with their smiling and happy faces will be eager to invite you to take part in the dance or at least learn how to drum. Back to lodge for dinner and overnight.

Early morning after breakfast, head back to Kigali and visit the Nyamirambo Women’s Centre a community-based organization that empowers women through education, training, and income-generating activities. You can support their work by taking a guided tour of Nyamirambo, one of the oldest and most vibrant neighborhoods in Kigali.

These tours are led by local women who show you around their community, including a market, a hair salon, a mosque, and a traditional milk bar. You can also learn how to make Rwandan dishes or weave baskets at the centre. The tours are a great way to experience the culture and life of Nyamirambo and support the women’s centre. Take lunch in the city centre, relax and visit the city as you warm up for your flight back home.

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