This 6 day Rwanda primate safari will give you a chance to participate in two premium wildlife activities in Rwanda; Gorilla trekking and chimpanzee trekking which are considered to be some of the best to engage in while on a safari in Africa. Both hikes can be challenging depending on where the chimpanzee or gorillas nested the previous night. The Chimp trekking differs from gorilla trekking because the sightings are a bit more sporadic and rushed, but worthwhile nonetheless as opposed to gorillas that stay for a while in one location.
- Kigali City Tour
- Chimpanzee trekking
- Canopy Walk
- Gorilla trekking
- Gorilla Guardians village
- Optional – Dian Fossey grave Or Visit to the Caves or Batwa trail
Day 1: Arrival for Rwanda Primates Safari
Today you arrive for your 6 day Rwanda primates safari. Our driver guide will be at the airport to pick you up and transfer you to your hotel after which you take on a Kigali city tour depending on your arrival time. Some of the sites to visit include Kigali genocide memorial, Kandt Museum and the craft market. If your arrival is in the morning or early afternoon you will start on city tour before transfer to your hotel and if arrival is late afternoon then you will be directly transferred to your hotel.
Meal plan – Dinner
- Up market – Kigali Marriott Hotel
- Mid-range – Heaven Boutique
Day 2: Transfer to Nyungwe forest national park
The journey from Kigali to Nyungwe forest national park will keep you a wake as you enjoy the various scenery. Nyungwe forest is located in southern Rwanda en route to Burundi and some parts of the Congo. The tour to Nyungwe forest will start early morning after your breakfast with our first short stopover in Nyanza before proceeding to Huye to tour the ethnographic museum. In Nyanza district there is an opportunity to visit the Kings palace museum which is an alternative to the ethnographic museum. You can discuss with your driver guide on which of the museums to stop at depending on your interests. They both share Rwanda’s cultural history but the ethnographic museum has more items and wide coverage. Arrive in Nyungwe forest later in that evening and proceed to our lodge for overnight.
Journey time – 6 hours
- Up market – One & Only Nyungwe House
- Mid-range – Emeraude Kivu Resort
Day 3: Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe forest national park
Chimpanzee trekking is an intimate experience with the forest and its inhabitants. Your driver guide will transfer you from your lodge to the briefing area in the forest where you are expected as early as 5.00 am. Depending on how big the group is for tracking on the particular day, the ranger guide will divide the group so that one starts the Uwinka trail head and the other at Cyamudongo trail head. The ranger guide will share chimpanzee trekking tips for you while in the forest. In case you need to drive to starting point depending on the trail head you were located, your driver guide will be waiting to transfer you. The forest is rich with botanical diversity and home to 13 species of primates including Ruwenzori colobus, L’Hoest’s monkeys, Red-tailed monkeys, silver monkey, grey cheeked mangabey etc.,about 300 bird species with a number of Albertine rift endemics and several butterfly species.
In the afternoon – take a canopy walk or stay at the lodge to recuperate from the chimp trekking depending on your preference.
Day 4: Transfer from Nyungwe forest to Volcanoes national park
Today after breakfast, we start journey to the home of mountain gorillas in Rwanda – Volcanoes national park in the Virunga region. Enjoy the winding roads and scenery of “a thousand hills” along the way and Lake Kivu. We arrive at your hotel later that evening – rest enough ready for the gorilla experience tomorrow.
Journey time – 6 hours
- Up market – Amarembo Gorilla Lodge
- Mid-range – Le Bambou gorilla lodge
Day 5: Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes national park
Gorilla trekking in volcanoes national park will most certainly be your highlight on this 6 days Rwanda primates safari. The experience coming face to face with the gentle giants in their natural habitats will remain with you forever. After an early morning breakfast, you will carry your day pack and the driver guide will transfer you to the briefing point. Your ranger guide in communication to earlier trackers will lead you to where the gorillas are. The trek can last from an hour to several hours depending on where the gorillas nested the previous night – you need to be relatively fit to enjoy this experience.
Depending on the time the gorilla tracking lasts, you have opportunities for a cultural group performance at Gorilla Guardian village or we can take this on tomorrow before leaving for Kigali.
Day 6: End of 6 day Rwanda Primates Safari
Wake up with memories of the previous day in the jungle with mountain gorillas. After a lazy morning or visit to the Iby’iwacu cultural village, have lunch and start your journey to Kigali for your return flight home to your hotel.
Gorilla and Chimpanzee 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.
- Rain gear because the weather can be unpredictable, you can generally expect both sun and rainfall during the day.
- Carry a day pack with food and water but remember that eating, drinking and smoking near the gorillas is forbidden – designated time and place will be communicated.
- Warm clothing is advised especially early morning or evenings and the trekking is done at high altitude
- Recommended clothing is long trousers and long sleeved sweaters or shirts while in the forest to avoid insect stings.
- Water proof hiking boots are essential
- Photography is permitted, although you must not use flash
- Porters are available to help you carry your day pack for a small charge.