On this 8 days Rwanda cultural and gorilla safari expect to experience the authentic Rwandan culture and heritage coupled with the amazing gorilla trekking experience. The drive to the countryside of Rwanda will grant you beautiful views of the Rwandan landscape hence the reference – Rwanda, a land of a thousand hills. You will visit Akagera national park and thereafter a pastoral cultural home to engage in activities surrounding the cow.

Highlights of the 8 days Rwanda Cultural and gorilla safari

  • Game drives in Akagera national park
  • Cultural and community experiences
  • Boat ride on Lake Ihema & Lake Kivu
  • Gorilla tracking in Volcanoes national park
  • Photography moments

Itinerary for the 8 days Rwanda cultural and gorilla safari

Day 1: Arrival for a cultural experience of Rwanda

Today is your arrival day for the 8 days Rwanda cultural and gorilla safari. You will be welcomed by our driver guide from the airport and transferred to your hotel in Kigali depending on time of arrival. If your flight is early morning, you will take a Kigali city tour before traveling to Akagera national park.  If in the late afternoon, you will over night in Kigali.

Meal plan – Dinner

Accommodation

Up market – Kigali Radisson Blu

Mid-range – Hotel Villa Portofino

Budget – Quiet haven Lodge

Day 2: Game drive in Akagera national park

giraffe in akagera national parkWe shall start with a morning game drive in the northern part of the park where we look out for some of the large mammals in this area. They include Elephants, Giraffes, Zebras, Buffaloes and the recently re-introduce lions. A huge human wildlife in this area conflict was solved by fencing the part of the park near communities. In the afternoon, we shall do a boat ride onn Lake Ihema or you can choose to relax at the lodge. We will overnight in the park eager to experience the

Journey time – 2 hours

Meal plan – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

Up market – Ruzizi tented camp

Mid-range – Akagera game lodge

Budget – Dereva hotel

Day 3: Visit a homestead for a Rwandan cultural experience

Eastern Rwanda is relatively flatter than most of the country and preferred by the pastoralists. We visit a homestead of cattle keepers and engage in the different activities. We start early morning with the milking cows with hands as opposed to machines. The herdsman will guide you on how to soothe the cow and milk it. After the session, you set the cows for the days grazing. You also have lessons on how milk is converted traditionally into different products like ghee and yoghurt.

Meal plan – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation – Local Homestead

Day 4: Community Visit – Medicine Man

Most rural communities have a resident medicine who knows how to mix different herbs to cure illness. We will have an opportunity to pick the herbs from the fields and learn the way in which they are prepared and the different mixtures to make medicine for particular ailments. We shall also participate in cooking traditional food and thereafter enjoy the meal.

Meal plan – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation – Local Homestead

Day 5: Transfer to Volcanoes national park

After breakfast, we relieve the cultural experiences in the homestead and transfer to the volcanoes national park where the massive gentles giants inhabit. Volcanoes national park is located in northern Rwanda about 2 hours from Kigali in Kinigi, Musanze. You have several photography opportunities as you travel north to the volcanoes. We will arrive to the lodge later that evening ready for the gorilla hike the next day.

Journey time – 5 hours

Meal plan – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

Up market – Mt Gorilla view lodge

Mid-range – Le Bambou gorilla lodge

Budget – Garden palace

Day 6: Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes national park

mountain-gorilla-volcanoes-parkHave an early breakfast and transfer to the gorilla briefings spot at the park headquarters in Kinigi. After briefing, we drive to the start of the gorilla trekking into the jungles of the Virunga. This experience in the wild is like no other and certainly one you will remember the rest of your life when you come face to face with the mountain gorilla family. You can only spend one hour with them after which you start the trek back.

In the afternoon, we visit to Iby’Iwacu cultural village for a glimpse into the culture and history of Rwanda.

Meal plan – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 7: Lake Kivu – Fishing Village tour

lake-kivuAfter a relaxed breakfast, we transfer to Gisenyi on Lake Kivu for relaxation and activities on the lake. Lake Kivu is a beautiful lake bordered between Rwanda and Congo in western Rwanda. On the menu today is taking a boat ride to the napolean island, take a visit to the hot springs or simply relax at the beach or by your hotel.

Today we spend the day exploring the Gisenyi area especially the fishing village. You learn and participate in the traditional fishing methods and fish preservation by the fishermen plying the waters of Lake Kivu.

Meal plan – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

Up market – Lake Kivu, Serena

Mid-range – Inzonzi lodge

Budget – Paradise Malahide

Day 8: End of the Rwanda Cultural Experience Safari

Its been a worthwhile exploring Rwandan cultural heritage and community experiences. You will be transferred to your hotel or the airport for your flight back home.

Tour includes 

  • Gorilla trekking permit
  • Community experiences
  • Ground transport per 4WD
  • Bottled water
  • Full board accommodation
  • Park entrance fees
  • Boat trips
  • Game drive
  • Boat trips
  • Service of an English-speaking driver guide
  • All mentioned activities except for the optional ones

Tour Excludes

  • Extras at the accommodation i.e. drinks, telephone, laundry etc.
  • Tips to porters and driver/ guide
  • Insurance

GORILLA TREKKING TIPS

  • Mountain gorillas live at high altitude and this may cause difficulties for some visitors. You should pace yourself and drink plenty of water.
  • Warm clothing is advised as the trekking is done at 1,700 m above sea level so is generally quite cold.
  • Recommended clothing is long trousers and long sleeved sweaters or shirts while in the forest to avoid insect stings.
  • Waterproof hiking boots are essential and rain gear useful.
  • Carry your day pack with lunch or some snacks. Eating, drinking and smoking near the gorillas is forbidden – designated time and place will be communicated.
  • Photography is permitted, although you must not use flash
  • Porters are available to help you carry your day pack for a small charge.

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