Primate Expedition

11 days from €7,920pp

Are you dreaming of an adventure somewhere off the beaten track? Let us whisk you away to Rwanda, a small but fabulous destination with wildlife in abundance.

This adventure begins in the smart, sophisticated capital Kigali, with a city tour and indulgence in Rwandan culture. Then it's on to Nyungwe Forest National Park, where you'll stay in a gorgeous lodge on a working tea plantation. Track chimpanzees and other wildlife before heading to the Isumo waterfalls surrounded by exotic birdlife and relaxing with gorgeous views. Your next stop is Lake Kivu where there are plenty of great activities on offer, from canoeing to boat rides. You'll also have the chance to hike the scenic Congo Nile Trail. Travel to Ruhengeri, which offers you the chance to track a family of gorillas in their natural habitat and spend time with these magnificent creatures. The adventure finishes in Akagera National Park, where you can relax by the campfire or enjoy one of the many guided activities on offer.

Highlights

  • Walk through the attractive capital of Kigali on a city tour

  • Indulge in Rwandan traditional cuisine

  • Cultural engagement with Rwandan basket weaving

  • Track Chimpanzees through Nyungwe Forest National Park

  • Hike to Isumo Waterfalls surrounded by exotic birds

  • Sunset drinks with spectacular views and scenery

  • Fresh tea straight off the Rwandan tea plantations

  • Cruise across Lake Kivu aboard a catamaran or kayak

  • Cycle or walk the Congo Nile Trail

  • Trek to see the gorillas in Volcanoes National Park

  • Behind the scenes park projects tour of Akagera National Park

  • Night Safari and the "Big 5" in Akagera National Park

Jamie
Senior Travel Designer
Let's talk
I grew up near the picturesque fishing village of Rye, in East Sussex. However, my heart has always been in Africa since I was a young girl. Having a South African father meant my love for the history and colour of this fantastic continent has been a prominent part of my life, and so getting to travel to seven different countries over the last few years has been a dream come true. One of my highlights was flying in the famous yellow bi-plane across Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya.

Primate Expedition

11 days from €7,920pp
Call: 01 963 8888

Itinerary

This exciting trip to Rwanda includes international flights, transfers, private guides and vehicles, accommodation, breakfasts, most lunches, dinners and selected excursions.

From the first conversation until you arrive home from your holiday, you’ll be looked after by one of our Travel Designers who has travelled extensively in the region and will give advice from their personal experience on how to make the most out of your trip.
All of our trips are entirely bespoke and we will continually refine your itinerary until it’s perfect.

Day

Location

Type

1-2

Kigali

City

Your exciting East African adventure begins in Kigali. On arrival at Kigali international airport you will be welcomed by members of the Safari Team who will transfer you to your five star hotel, Kigali Serena, and assist you with check in. Kigali Serena Hotel is ideally located on one of Kigali's most charming boulevards and built around a polished granite atrium which showcases the very best of Rwandan cultural art. Once settled into your room, get some rest after the day's travelling and get ready to start exploring this amazing country.

The following morning, after breakfast, head out on your guided Kigali city tour with the Nyamirambo Women's Centre, a community-run initiative offering tours through the sights and sounds of Kigali. Stops on this tour include the Gahaya Links-Kicukiro to discover and partake in the weaving of Rwandan Baskets. Indulge in traditional lunch and dinner before heading back to the hotel for your last night in Kigali.

3-4

Nyungwe Forest National Park

Activity & Adventure + Wildlife

This morning, after breakfast, travel to Nyungwe House, a lodge located on a working tea plantation, built to blend in with its natural surroundings and nestled among the trees in the Nyungwe Forest National Park. At an altitude of 1600-2950m above sea level, this mountainous rainforest reserve is rich in flora and fauna, with over 260 species of trees and shrubs, and over 100 types of orchid and giant lobelia alone. As well as incredible biodiversity, the park also has breathtaking views. During the journey there, you'll have the chance to spot some of the wildlife that roams the area. Upon arrival, after settling in, stretch your legs with a guided hike to the beautiful Isumo waterfalls, a spectacular force of nature surrounded by exotic birds. Head back to the Lodge in time for a gorgeous sunset whilst relaxing at the bar, restaurant and pool area. Afterwards retire to your room for your first night in the Nyungwe Forest National Park.

The following morning prepare for some serious wildlife spotting. After an early breakfast, embark on a thrilling adventure trek through the trees, tracking chimpanzees on foot across Africa's largest mountain forest. Whilst you are in search of the chimpanzees you may well stumble upon some of the 13 other species of primate who inhabit the forest. Prepare to hear these excitable primates before you see them as their hoots travel through the deep jungle. Seeing these animals up close is sure to be one of the highlights of your Rwandan adventure. During the hike you may also spot a variety of migratory birdlife including the Ross' Turaco, Grey-cheeked Hornbill, Red-breasted Sparrow Hawk and regal Sunbird. The afternoon brings an assortment of options, including a visit to a nearby tea factory, guided cultural walks or the use of the lodge's spa, jacuzzi and fitness area whilst enjoying the magnificent views of the park and tea plantations. 

5-6

Gisenyi

Activity & Adventure

This morning, after breakfast, check out from your lodge with a picnic lunch onboard and enjoy a spectacular scenic drive along the shores of Lake Kivu to Gisenyi, a picturesque lakeside town, often referred to as ‘Martha’s Vineyard of Rwanda’. On arrival, check into the Lake Kivu Serena Hotel, situated on its own private white sandy beach on the lake shore and surrounded by extensive tropical gardens. This hotel provides the ultimate tropical escape. Once settled in, head out onto the lake via catamaran and look back onto the Albertine Rift (part of the Great Rift Valley) and the secluded inland beach lined with swaying palms, enclosed by green terraced hills. Head back to shore, to the Serena beachside bar for sunset drinks before dining in the panoramic restaurant. 

The following day is at leisure and what you do is completely up to you. Relax on the edge of one of the greatest freshwater lakes in Africa on the gorgeous stretch of beach or poolside. If a more active day is what you are after get out onto the water with a half day trip of kayaking, canoeing, fishing, boating or other water sports on the lake. Alternatively explore the local area, rolling hills and little-known tracks either on foot or by bicycle. A highlight for walking, trekking or hiking is the Congo Nile Trail which overlooks the crystal waters below lined with colonial style hotels. In the evening try your hand at a spot of volleyball or tennis or visit the "Maisha" health centre to top up your relaxation meter before retiring to your room for the night.

7-8

Ruhengeri

Activity & Adventure + Wildlife

After a leisurely sleep in, breakfast and lunch head towards Ruhengeri, your port of entry to the Volcanoes National Park. This extremely scenic drive through the beautiful terraced hillsides that characterise much of Rwandas landscape revisits views from the edge of Lake Kivu before crossing part of the Gishwati Forest National Park, where you're likely to spot wildlife en route. Arrive at your accommodation for the next couple of nights - Bishops House Boutique Hotel- and settle in for an evening of relaxation before tomorrows once in a lifetime adventure. After dinner retire to your antique four poster bed and dream of the rare Mountain Gorillas in the surrounding forests awaiting your exploration.

Today you will have the opportunity to observe the rare Rwandan mountain gorillas in the famous Volcanoes National Park. Tracking the gorillas through the forested slopes of the Virunga Volcanoes is a magical experience. If you are lucky you will find the gorillas, spend an hour with them, and be back at the base in time for a late lunch. Some gorilla families, however, are more elusive, and tracking can take a full day, especially when it is wet and muddy. Gorillas are magnificent creatures and watching them eat, sleep and interact with each other at close proximity is a fascinating and unforgettable experience. Return to the Hotel for some Lunch followed by downtime and leisure as you reflect on the unimaginable morning you have just had.

9-11

Akagera National Park

Activity & Adventure + Wildlife

The final section of your Rwandan adventure begins as you drive another scenic drive to the Akagera National Park. Pass through the city of Kigali as you head to the solar-powered Ruzizi Tented Lodge hidden amongst the swaying palms and fruiting fig trees on the shores of Lake Ihema. After lunch at your new base camp, take an afternoon drive through the woodlands and savannah of the park passing a labyrinth of swamps and lakes that follow the meandering course of the Akagera river. The recent reintroduction of black Rhino, from South Africa in 2017, means the park now contains all of Africa's "Big Five" - elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard. The animals are very relaxed in this natural environment, making them easy to see and spend time with. Head back to the camp for an evening around the campfire underneath a shady fig tree overlooking the lake. With drink in hand swop stories of your adventures with the other travellers before or after dinner. 

For your final full day in Rwanda, after breakfast, explore Akagera National Park with a morning game drive. Keep an eye out for some of the gorgeous birdlife. Head back to the camp for lunch, afterwards you have the opportunity to learn about conservation, how the park is run and maintained on a behind the scenes park projects tour. In the evening, after dinner, savour the last hours of your Rwandan adventure with an exciting night game drive to seek out the rarely seen nocturnal African wildlife.

The next morning you have the option for a final early morning game drive before breakfast and then a transfer to Kigali international airport. Board your flight home with magical memories that will last a lifetime.

map of your trip

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Call Vivid Travel

01 963 8888