10 Days Discover Rwanda – Wildlife and Cultural Heritage


Rwanda Safaris

10 Days Discover Rwanda – Wildlife and Cultural Heritage

Start/End: Kigali

Duration: 10 Days

Activities: Sightseeing, Cultural tours, Primate tracking, Gorilla Trekking, Leisure, Monuments

Destinations: Butare, Nyungwe Forest, Kibuye, Gisenyi, Goma, Kinigi, Volcanoes Park

This Rwanda discovery tour will take you to Nyungwe Park then explore Gisenyi town near Lake Kivu then to Ruhengeri for Gorilla Tracking.

Tour summary

This 10 days Rwanda Discovery tour starts and ends from Kigali city – the capital city of Rwanda. You will visit Butare, Rwanda’s second largest city with a number of attractions including the National Museum, botanical gardens & Rugarama hot-springs. There after you will go to Nyungwe forest – one of the most beautiful & pristine mountain rain-forests for a guided chimpanzee walk. After the chimp tracking experience, you will visit Kibuye and relax at the stunning Lake Kivu. Perhaps you will also take a boat cruise or Swim in the water. A speed boat to Gisenyi will get you to see some of the fishing villages and you can also cross the border to Goma (DRC). You will also have a chance to visit some of the orphanage’s founded after the 1994 genocide.

This trip also takes you to the Virunga Volcanoes where you get to enjoy an amazing gorilla trekking experience. This is one of the best highlights for most trips to Rwanda. You can also have another full day trekking the gorillas – an optional activity that comes at an extra cost.

From here you will end the tour with a city tour of Kigali, visiting some of the most popular places including the local markets, genocide memorials and other interesting places.


Kigali City Tour

Butare Cultural visits

Kibuye, Lake Kivu beaches & boat ride

Speed-boat trip to Gisenyi

Visit Ross Carr’s Imbabazi Orphanage

Gorilla Trekking Activity


Day 1: Arrive in Rwanda

When you arrive at Kigali airport you will be met by our driver /guide. He will then transfer you to Kigali city which is 30 minutes away for overnight stay & dinner.

Accommodation at Hotel des Mille Collines, Hotel Chez Lando.

Meal plan: Dinner.

Day 2: Kigali – Butare.

After breakfast you will depart for Butare, the second largest city of Rwanda and is regarded as the intellectual city of Rwanda. It hosts the National Museum, several academic (University) and research institutions. On your way to Butare you will visit Nyanza (currently Nyabisindu) the former Mwami’s palace (King’s palace) and the seat of the feudal monarchy. The palace has been reconstructed to its 19th century state and shows a traditional dome that can be compared with the Kabaka’s palace of Buganda. You will visit the National Museum which is one the well set-up if not the finest ethnographic museum of East Africa. It’s a good source of information on the cultural history of Rwanda and the region. The National Museum in Butare was donated in 1989 by the Belgium government and gave back a part of the ethnographic collection acquired during the colonial period. The design and concept of the museum was realized in co-operation with the Royal Museum for Central Africa of Tervuren, Belgium. The modern building has different sections and displays a wide collection of monochrome pictures, traditional artefacts and objects, tools and different craft products. Ethnographic objects are grouped together according to theme giving excellent information on the daily life. Traditional ceramics and basketry are still manufactured and belong to the finest handicrafts of the region. The National Museum remained surprisingly untouched during the civil war of 1994.

Accommodation at Butare or Nyungwe.

Meal plan: FB

Day 3: Butare Cultural visits

Visit the Botanical Gardens. Visit the locally revered hot springs in Rugarama. Lunch at Butare and later we will drive to Nyungwe Forest National Park. Your driver/guide will stop at the Uwinka offices to have the last update on the presence of the semi-habituated groups of chimps and colobus monkeys. This will help you to prepare your activities of the next day.

Accommodation at Gisakura Guest House

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 4: Nyungwe forest national park

Early morning visit Nyungwe Forest for a guided nature walk and primate tracking. Of a particular interest are the large social groups of Angolan Colobus (Colobus angolensis), which may be over 300 individuals. These are the largest troops of this species known in the world! Nyungwe forest counts 25% of the African Primates.

Accommodation at Gisakura Guest House

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 5: Nyungwe Forest to Kibuye

Drive via Kibuye on the stunningly beautiful Lake Kivu to Gisenyi; through beautiful countryside, crossing valleys full of agricultural produce. Kibuye which is one of the three resort town on Lake Kivu is the most beautiful. Arrive at lunch time. After Nyungwe, most participants will welcome that relaxing moments on the shores of Lake Kivu! Take a boat out on the lake to see the various islands. Swim in the refreshing, bilharzias-free waters of the Lake or stroll about in the nearby villages rambling across a number of hills. Rest of the day at leisure.

Lake Kivu is unique: Its deep waters contain an enormous quantity of dissolved gas. There are, in fact, 65 billion cubic meters of methane, in other words the equivalent of 50 million tons of petrol lying at the bottom of the lake under 250m of water. If it were exploited, this energy, veritable manna from heaven, would provide Rwanda with an almost inexhaustible source of energy, freeing it from worry about energy needs linked to its development projects. There is a pilot station for the extraction of methane for energy in this place.

Accommodation at Molia Hill Resort Kibuye

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 6: Kibuye – Gisenyi

After breakfast, either drive to, or you will have an enjoyable speed-boat trip to Gisenyi. The trip is not only an encounter with local people; fishermen, fishing villages but also with the residents of Idjwi Island (Congo) who are rowing long distances in their dugout canoes to visit the Rwanda markets. You will be picked up in Gisenyi for lunch and if time allows we make arrangements to cross the border to Goma (Optional). Goma was devastated by the eruption of the Nyiragongo volcano. The visit shows the fantastic capabilities of the local population to overcome this natural catastrophe. The Nyiragongo volcano (3470 m) erupted on the 17th of January 2002 and destroyed part of Goma town.

Most of Goma’s 400 000 inhabitants escaped the advancing lava flows crossing the border into neighboring Rwanda. The eruption destroyed the homes of 120 000 people and caused between 70 and 100 victims. Idjwi is an island in Lake Kivu, belonging to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. At 40 km in length and with an area of 285 km², it is believed to be the largest inland island in Africa, and the eighth largest in the world. Idjwi is roughly equidistant between the DRC and Rwanda, with 10 to 15kilometers separating its western shore from the DRC mainland and a similar distance between its eastern shore and the coastline of Rwanda. The island’s southern tip, however, lies only 1 kilometer from a promontory of the Rwandan coast.

Accommodation at Stipp Hotel or Serena Kivu Sun

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 7: Gisenyi – Kinigi

Visit Ross Carr’s Imbabazi Orphanage. Stroll about at lake and visit other local villages. Imbabazi Orphanage was founded by Mrs Rosamond Halsey Carr in late 1994 at Mugongo to care for the genocide orphans. Rosamond Halsey was a young American fashion illustrator when she married an adventurous hunter-explorer, Kenneth Carr. Together they journeyed to then “Congo Belge” (now Congo DRC) in 1949 but where they later came to a pungent divorce. Kenneth left but Rosamond stayed in Congo until 1955. From there on she moved to northwest Rwanda where she stayed for the next 50 years. She witnessed all Rwanda’s historical events, including the vinegary genocide of 1994. She is the author of “Land of a Thousand Hills: my life in Rwanda.” Have Lunch then transfer to Ruhengeri & Kinigi, check into your lodge.

Accommodation at Hotel La Palme, Virunga Hotel, Mountain Gorilla View Lodge

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 8: Gorilla Trekking

After breakfast you will report at the ORTPN headquarters where your driver-guide will accomplish the necessary formalities for you. You will meet your ranger guide(s) for a briefing about the greatest animal experience ever. Then we will drive you to the slopes of one of the Virunga volcanoes for your gorilla trekking experience. After the trekking, lunch at your lodge or at Ruhengeri and in the afternoon, if time allows, an excursion to explore the beautiful lakes in the region: Lake Bulera & Ruhondo. An excellent view of the Virunga chain of Volcanoes can be seen while there depending on weather conditions.

Accommodation at Hotel La Palme, Virunga Hotel, Mountain Gorilla View Lodge

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 9: Second gorilla trekking or another activity – Transfer to Kigali

Second gorilla tracking (subject to availability and payment of $1500 gorilla permit supplement); or do one of the other options (at extra cost). An excursion to the top of the Bisoke volcano (3.711 m) of which the distinctive feature is a beautiful crater lake. Or an excursion to the grave of Dian Fossey and the former Karisoke Research Centre. The excursion will provide excellent background information and this is a wonderful site to see. Or a visit to the Golden Monkeys: the little-known Golden Monkey (cercopithecus mitis kandti) is listed as “endangered”, the newly habituated groups of about 40 individuals are the only ones in Africa. The Kabatwa troop is located not so far from the Park Headquarters and the Musanga troop lives near the Karisimbi volcano and has a much longer walking distance. Or visit local communities and visit to the surrounding communities. Visit the Batwa pygmies and other local communities then later transfer to Kigali city after your lunch.

Accommodation at Chez Lando Hotel or Mille Collines

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 10: Kigali visit and departure

Today, you will go for a tour of Kigali city including a visit to the local markets, the handicraft shops and the Genocide Memorial Centre at Gisozi, which takes a few hours – such a touching visit! Time permitting, visit the Nyabugogo market, the Moslem quarter in Nyamirambo, and the Franco-Rwanda cultural Centre. Many hotels and restaurants here prepare local dishes. Buy some crafts and other items as souvenirs.

Genocide Memorials: In Rwanda you will find all over the country Memorials to remember the genocide of 1994. The most important Genocide Memorials are those of Kigali (Gisozi) and Murambi (Gikongoro) and the most prominent one at Nyamata (some 70km south of Kigali) where the history of the genocide is explained. A visit to the genocide memorial is for most visitors an emotional event. Transfer to Airport for departure.

Meal plan: Breakfast & Lunch


  • Transport in a 4WD vehicle with pop-up roof.
  • All fuel for the tour
  • English speaking Ugandan driver/guide.
  • Accommodation and Meals on Full Board (Breakfast Lunch and Dinner)
  • Park-entrance fees for all National parks
  • All activities described in the itinerary
  • 1 Chimp permit per person
  • 1 Gorilla permit per person.
  • Drinking water throughout the safari.


  • International air fares
  • Entry visa Uganda
  • Meals that are not part of your accommodation.
  • A porter for during the gorilla tracking’s (someone who carries your daypack).
  • Personal (medical/travel) insurance
  • Tips and gratuities to rangers, driver/guide, porter, hotel staff, etc.
  • All expenses of personal nature (e.g. drinks, laundry, optional activities, souvenirs etc.)
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