PLEASE NOTE THAT ALL TRIPS ARE SUSPENDED DUE TO COVID-19 TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS. WE WILL BE BACK AND TOURING AS SOON AS THE SITUATION CHANGES. STAY SAFE AND LOOK AFTER EACH OTHER DURING THESE DIFFICULT TIMES.
There can be a few experiences in the world more memorable and magical than an encounter with a mountain gorilla. Rwanda is one of the few countries that happen to be a home to the few remaining mountain gorillas in the world.
There are just over 1000 mountain gorillas’ worldwide today and all found in small areas of east Africa straddling the boarder of Uganda, Rwanda and Congo.
Gorillas make their homes in and amongst the bamboo-covered slopes of the Virunga Mountains in the Volcanoes National Park in northern Rwanda. Trek to see them and you’ll be introduced by your expert trackers and guides to one of the fully-habituated families of mountain gorillas and you can stay with them for an awe-inspiring hour, often crouching just a few feet away, whilst the gorillas go about their daily lives.
Experience Africa’s mountain gorillas on an adventure through Rwanda.
On this 9 day itinerary you will visit Rwanda, home to some of the last remaining mountain gorillas and a place where you will be warmly welcomed by smiling locals.
Rwanda has bravely risen from a tragic past and stands proudly as a representation of Africa’s irrepressible beauty.
Be awe-struck by the profound power of the endangered mountain gorilla, explore Akagera National Park, home to the African Big Five and one of the most scenic national parks in Africa, enjoy Lake Kivu, one of Africa’s Great Lakes that spans Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo and dive into Rwandan history and culture with hands on cultural and community experiences.
- Gorilla Trekking
- Nyungwe National Park
- Kigali Genocide Memorial
- Lake Kivu Sunset Cruise
- Akagera National Park
- Safari Drives
- Lake Ihema Cruise
- Cultural Village & Dinner
You will be picked up by our guide/driver when you arrive at the Kigali International Airport who will transfer you to your hotel where you’ll spend the night.
As flights will arrive at different times of the day, you will spend the day at leisure around the hotel or walk to the nearby Kigali town centre to explore.
This evening there will be a welcome dinner at the hotel where you meet your host and the other tour members.
Distance from airport to hotel: 15 minutes
Hotel: Hotel Des Milles Collines (D)
After breakfast, you will embark on a tour the city. Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre will acquaint you with the barbarities of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, which decimated the country and left an estimated one million people dead. On the brighter side, however, the tour of Kigali will show you how Rwandans have put those dark days behind them and literally rebuilt their country – one picturesque building at a time.
In the afternoon, begin your journey to Akagera National Park, northeast of Kigali on the border with Tanzania. The journey to Rwanda’s biggest national park – which spans 1,085 km² – takes about two hours.
Your visit to Akagera National Park starts with a sunset boat ride on Lake Ihema, the country’s second-biggest fresh water lake after Lake Kivu. Lake Ihema is a birder’s paradise; here you’ll be fascinated by sightings of waterbirds such as cormorans, fish eagles, African jacana, papyrus gonolek and kingfishers. But the highlights are usually sightings of the monstrous elephants grazing by the lakeside, crocodiles enjoying the morning sun, and hippos playing in water. Enjoy a glass of champagne as the sun sets over the lake.
Distance from Kigali: 2 hours 30 mins
Hotel: Akagera Game Lodge (B,L,D)
Today you will wake up as early as 6:00 am and go on safari. The park was named after the river that runs along Rwanda’s eastern edge and it’s the country’s counterpart to the famous savannah reserves of Tanzania and Kenya farther afield.
It’s a stunningly beautiful park, boasting more than 10 fresh water lakes and more than 80 and 500 animal and bird species respectively.
Today’s game drive will reward you with an authentic African Big Five safari experience in a less touristy destination where lions and rhinos returned in 2015 and 2017 respectively.
Some of the park’s most famous residents include lions, elephants, rhinos, zebras, cheetahs, hyenas, buffalo, giraffes, monkeys, hippos, bush pigs, warthogs, baboons, crocodiles, leopards and antelopes.
This afternoon you visit the local community and learn about community life. Cattle keepers who were once ex-poachers are now engaged in better practices, try some local produce with the native bees or help make banana beer.
Hotel: Akagera Game Lodge (B,L,D)
After breakfast and a relaxed morning, a five-hour drive north of the country will lead you to Musanze, Rwanda’s second-largest city and the country’s tourism hub. You’ll be taken straight to your hotel, from where your gorilla trekking expedition will begin tomorrow.
In Musanze you will visit the Gorilla Guardian Village (formerly known as Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village), an award-winning venture that was founded in 2004 and is owned entirely by local communities.
Since its inception, the Gorilla Guardian Village has significantly helped in improving the livelihoods of communities living near the Volcanoes National Park, which houses the mountain gorillas. The venture offers employment to hundreds of former poachers and potential poachers, thereby curtailing human pressure on the Volcanoes National Park.
Set in a replica of the traditional Rwandan palace, here you’ll be regaled by Rwandan Intore dancers and drummers, Batwa pygmies will showcase their bow and arrow skills, while a little village walk will introduce you to the local community’s way of life.
Enjoy a special dinner and cultural show at the village before returning to your hotel for an early evening.
Distance from Akagera to Musanze: 5 hours
Hotel: Classic Lodge Musanze (B,L,D)
Today is the day! It will begin at 6:00 am as gorilla trekkers are required to be at the park headquarters by 7:00 am. Critically endangered and currently numbering about 1,000 individuals (according to the 2018 census results), the mountain gorillas can only be found in two places in the world: the Virunga Massif, a volcanic range that straddles Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda.
After equipping yourselves with the essential gorilla trekking gear (hiking boots, long trousers, gloves, etc), the park’s head ranger will divide you and other trekkers into different groups basing on your fitness. Usually, the more physically fit track gorilla groups that require a shorter, less strenuous trek while the fit ones can scour the forest for a longer time, and at a relatively higher altitude.
The mountain gorillas you’ll be allowed to view are families that have been habituated. As the excursion progresses deeper into the forest, your guide will point out signs of previous gorilla activity – dung, nests, chewed bamboo shoots, etc. Once you find them, you’ll be allowed to stay with them for one hour.
After gorilla trekking you’ll head back to your hotel for lunch and a relaxing afternoon so you can reflect on your day.
Hotel: Classic Lodge Musanze (B,L,D)
After breakfast, embark on a three-hour journey to the scenic Lake Kivu in Rusizi, one of Africa’s Great Lakes that spans Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Lake Kivu is 2,700 km² in size and sits at an altitude of 2349 km² above sea-level, making it the world’s 15th and Africa’s 3rd deepest lake.
You’ll spend the afternoon on the Rwandan shore of the lake. Enjoy a sunset cruise on the lake as the Singing Fishermen of Lake Kivu head out in their three-hulled fishing boats. With characteristic long poles attached to their bows and sterns, these fascinating boats become slowly silhouetted against the darkening sky. In small groups, they seek the deep water a few kilometres out into the lake from where they cast their nets and fish throughout the night.
Distance from Musanze to Lake Kivu: 4 hours
Hotel: Emeraude Resort (B,L,D)
After breakfast, start the two-hour drive that will lead you to the Nyungwe. One of the oldest rainforests in Africa, Nyungwe is rich in biodiversity and spectacularly beautiful. The mountainous region is teaming with wildlife, including a small population of chimpanzees as well as 12 other species of primate, including the L’Hoest’s monkey endemic to the Albertine Rift. Take a hike on the Igishigishigi trail to Canopy Walkway. The 160m long and 70m high bridge is suspended above a ravine in the lush montane rainforest of Nyungwe National Park. The canopy walkway provides an exhilarating perspective on the ancient treetops and wildlife.
Return to your hotel at Lake Kivu to watch the sunset over the Lake before dinner and overnight.
Hotel: Emeraude Resort (B,L,D)
Depart from Lake Kivu to Kigali. This is your time to explore Kigali yourself and, maybe even, engage in a bit of shopping. The Nyamirambo neighbourhood, awash with lots of craft markets and art galleries, will introduce you to the country’s contemporary urban culture. Enjoy a departure dinner for your last night in Kigali and reflect on your journey through Rwanda.
Distance from Lake Kivu to Kigali: 3 hours
Hotel: Hotel des Milles Collines (B,L,D)
Travel to Kigali International Airport for your flight back home.
- 8 nights’ accommodation
- All meals as per itinerary
- All activities as per itinerary
- All transportation through itinerary
- A USB with photographs from the tour
- Airfares to Rwanda (Kigali) are additional and can be arranged to suit your travel plans.
- Any costs incurred at the hotels outside of those included in the itinerary
- Travel Insurance
Your accommodation has been carefully selected for this tour based on locality, design and local atmosphere. The properties range from 3 – 4 star.
Transport from and to the airport is in a comfortable safari 4WD. While engaging in game viewing and activities, guests will be able to enjoy the roof open for maximum viewing. Water stations will be available in the vehicle to re-fill your re-usable water bottle supplied.
While every care has been taken to ensure the prices and availability of this tour is locked in, we do sometimes experience fluctuations and changes from our suppliers and ground operators. While every effort will be made to ensure this has no impact on the overall cost of your trip, if this can not be done, you will be notified immediately with options.
Please note that we are working in remote destinations and sometimes changes to the itinerary are unavoidable. While we endeavour to ensure we stick to the set itinerary, changes may occur prior to travel and while on location.
Also note that wildlife is never guaranteed nor predictable. We are travelling during times of high probability of wildlife experiences, however this is never 100% guaranteed.
Flights are NOT included with this package. Please discuss with us the timing requirements for arrival and departure from Johannesburg if you are organising your own flights. If you wish us to book flights, we are able to arrange this also.
All prices are quoted in Australian Dollars. Typically, prices are based on two passengers travelling together. Solo traveller supplements may be applicable. Special offer pricing has already been applied to the website pricing displayed, unless it is stated otherwise.
PASSPORTS & VISAS
Passports must have a validity of at least 6 months or longer than your intended stay overseas. Visas to some countries are required for Australian Passport holders. Visas can be purchased on arrival in most countries, but please note, for entry into certain countries a visa must be applied for online prior to travel. Some visa fees are payable in US Dollars cash only. Some countries have a requirement making it necessary to have a certain number of blank pages in your passport. Please check with us regarding visa requirements.
TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN
Travelling with children under 18 years of age through certain countries may require further documentation in addition to their valid passport. As requirements can change, please check with us.
HEALTH & FITNESS
Please consult your GP or Travel Doctor for up-to-date medical advice. A minimum level of fitness is required to be able to participate on a Where Wild Things Roam Travel tour. In addition, some tours may require you to disclose your body weight. Please check with us to ensure that you can meet the relevant requirements.
Luggage restrictions may apply to your tour where safari vehicles or light aircrafts are utilised. Please check your trip dossier for detail on this and what is suggested to pack.
A non-refundable deposit of 25% per person is required within seven days of booking confirmation along with a signed Booking Form. Some tours and arrangements may impose a higher non-refundable deposit – please check at time of booking. Payment of deposit and a signed Booking Form represents acceptance of Where Wild Things Roam Travel Terms & Conditions by the client. Final balance of payment must be received no later than 60 days prior to departure.
Bookings made within 30 days of travel from Australia will require full payment immediately.
An amendment fee of AU$50 will be levied to cover communication and administration costs for any changes to bookings. This is in addition to any airline and operator fees.
We can organise additional arrangements such as hotels and car hire not forming part of a package. Just ask us at the time of booking.
Cancellations must be received in writing and will take effect from the date received by Where Wild Things Roam Travel. The following cancellation charges will apply to the tour costs.
- More than 60 days before departure: Deposit only
- 60-49 days before departure: 40%
- 48-31 days before departure: 60%
- 30-0 days before departure: 100%
These charges can vary subject to the trading terms of our suppliers as some do impose higher cancellation fees on certain tours. The non-issuing of an invoice or non-payment of deposit will not exempt clients from these cancellation and administration fees. We regret we can make no exception to the charges and strongly recommend that comprehensive travel insurance is taken out at time of booking to cover cancellation fees.
We strongly recommend that a comprehensive travel insurance policy be taken out at time of paying the deposit. Where Wild Things Roam Travel will NOT accept responsibility for loss of deposit/full payment, loss or damage to baggage and personal items, personal illness or injury, medical expenses, cancellation or curtailment of your trip.
For the latest government advice on travel safety and security, please visit and register your holiday on www.smartraveller.gov.au
SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING PRICES
Much care has gone into the composition of itineraries and prices, however circumstances beyond our control such as currency devaluation, fuel or air fare surcharges, imposition of new or amended Government charges (i.e VAT) may necessitate an increase in cost. Where Wild Things Roam Travel cannot be held responsible for these changes. Should this occur at any time until departure date, you will be notified as soon as possible, and regardless of deposit or total payment having been made, any increase is to be paid by the client. If such increase is unacceptable, the client may cancel the booking, though, in so doing, is still liable to pay any cancellation charges imposed by our suppliers. While every effort has been made to ensure prices are accurate, please use the brochure as a guideline only, as rates are subject to change.
Where Wild Things Roam Travel uses local ground operators in the country of travel. The standards of accommodation and other services are based on various factors, which are generally accepted as indicated as a certain class. However, we do not represent or guarantee that standard, class or fitness for purpose of the accommodation or service. Where Wild Things Roam Travel does not accept any liability of whatever nature for the acts, omissions or default, whether negligent or otherwise, of those airlines, local operators, shipping companies, hoteliers or other persons providing services in connection with your tour pursuant to a contract between them and yourselves and over whom we have no direct and exclusive control. We do not accept liability for any injury, damage, loss, delay, change of itinerary when required, additional expense or inconvenience caused directly or indirectly by events which are beyond our control, or which are not preventable by reasonable diligence on our part including, but not limited to war, civil disturbances, fire, floods, unusually severe weather, acts of God, acts of Government or of any other authorities, accidents to, or failure of, machinery or equipment, or industrial action (whether or not involving our employees and even though such actions may be settled by acceding to demands of a labour group).