Combining the experience of seeing big game, chimps and monkeys, plus rare birds found nowhere else on the planet is second to none! Throw in a little glimpse of beautiful Burundi and you have a trip that satisfies both your love of nature, your desire to relax, kick back and enjoy the beach and also your curiosity in learning about other cultures.
Day 1: Pick-up from hotel in Kigali, Rwanda and transfer to Akagera National Park. Short southern Lake Circuit Game drive
Our professional, local guide will greet you at your hotel in the morning and brief you on your trip. Drive to Akagera National Park passing through Rwanda’s phenomenal landscapes and living lifestyles. Check in and after a quick rest at the hotel, continue on with a southern game drive alongside the Lake Ihema circuit.
Plenty of animals can be seen, including elephants, giraffes, buffaloes, zebras, hippos, crocodiles and also many other mammal species. Known as one of the most scenic savannahs in East Africa, the game drive in Akagera provides you with the opportunity to also view gentle hills blending beautifully with lowland swamps and water bodies.
On this day (depending on time available), we offer you a choice of value-added activities from the following:
Evening walks around the hotel where you can see various bird species.
Participate in day-to-day local pastoral lifestyle.
Presentation on the ecology of the Akagera ecosystem and the conservation efforts, including the coexistent dynamics between the local people and wildlife.
Day 2: Northern Circuit Game drive and transfer to Kigali
Early morning game drive starts with a spectacular sunrise and early morning bird songs. Enjoy the beautiful scenery and landscape through the northern circuit where you will see hippos, crocodiles and even more wildlife than on the lake circuit.
Our guide will then drive you back to Kigali and give you a proper tour of the city. Kigali, Rwanda's capital city, was named in 1907 by Dr. Richard Kandt, the first colonial resident governor of Rwanda. It is the main administrative and economic centre of Rwanda. Surrounded by lush hills of green, it is the cleanest and safest city in the region. Kigali’s face is her fortune: a dramatic beauty from which its name is derived. There are, however, other contributing factors - it is a city that delights the mind as well as the eye of any visitor and is a city where the past lives comfortably with the present.
To start things off, your guide will take you to Juru Park, one of the highest points in Kigali. Here you can have lunch while enjoying fantastic views of the city and its surrounding hills and countryside.
On the tour, you will have the opportunity to see the following:
Visit the 1994 Gisozi Genocide Memorial site.
Visit an artisan shopping centre to view and purchase local arts and crafts.
Visit the Kigali Museum and learn the history of Kigali’s and Rwanda’s pre-colonial and colonial period as well as the colonial masters in Rwanda.
Tour around the city and see, first hand, the post-genocide development and expansion of Kigali.
In the evening, our guide can take you to the Crystal View Cocktail Lounge on the eighth floor of the Top Tower Hotel where the panoramic views overlooking the entire city of Kigali are second to none! As striking at night as it is during the day, one is reminded exactly why Rwanda is known as “the Land of a Thousand Hills”.
Day 3: Transfer to Butare
You will start your journey with a reasonably early transfer to the city of Butare, the original capital of Kigali and intellectual centre of Rwanda. Passing through magnificent hills and cultivated countryside, you will stop along the way and visit the famous King's Palace in Nyanza, which offers visitors a window into pre-colonial Rwandan history. For those who are interested, you can also visit the art museum at Rwesero Nyanza. Upon arrival in Butare, you will check-in to your hotel, have a leisurely lunch and then go to the National Museum, which will provide you with a deeper insight into Rwandan history and culture.
Day 4: Morning transfer to Nyungwe and Afternoon Colobus Monkey Trek
Nyungwe Forest National Park is the only destination in the world where you can see up to 13 species of primates in a single location, including rare species such as Chimpanzees, the Blue Monkeys, L'Hoest's Monkeys and the Angolan black and white Colobus Monkeys. Nyungwe presents a unique phenomenon in primate tourism due to its huge concentrations of habituated primates whose troops can include 400 to 500 individuals!
As one of the most important ornithological hubs in Rwanda, Nyungwe is also home to almost 300 species of birds, making it a bird watcher's paradise!
Along the way, we will stop at the new Visitor's Interpretive Centre to orient you to this magnificent park. Then it's off to your hotel to check-in and have a relaxing lunch. The afternoon will be spent trekking to the Colobus Monkeys, hiking through lush forests, endless, green tea fields and taking in the stunning views of your surroundings.
Day 5: Trek chimpanzees
Early morning trek to the chimpanzees. Once the trek is completed, you will jump into the car and head down to Bujumbura, Burundi on Lake Tanganyika for some rest, relaxation and beachtime!
Bujumbura is the capital city and main port of Burundi, located on the northeastern shore of Lake Tanganyika, the largest rift lake in Africa and also the deepest, freshwater lake on this continent. Bujumbura is a mixture of old colonial charm, with its wide boulevards and large ornate buildings combined together with the dusty crowded streets and market places that are characteristic of most African capital cities. A short way from town, are some of the best inland beaches in Africa. The white sand, turquoise waters and beachside bars are very reminiscent of the islands in the Caribbean! You will stay for two nights at the Hotel Club du Lac Tanganyika, located just outside the city centre and right on the beach.
Relax on the beach, tour the city of Bujumbura, experience the energetic nightlife.
Day 7:Transfer to Kigali via Nyamata
Following an early breakfast, your guide will drive you back to Kigali. On the way, you will have the opportunity to stop at the Genocide Memorial in Nyamata and pay your respects to the thousands that died here during the 1994 genocide.
Transfer to airport or hotel.