Rwanda Tours: Visiting Volcanoes & Nyungwe Parks

This Rwanda tour will take you to two parks in Rwanda the land of hills. Your driver guide will be ready at the airport to warmly receive you and then transfer you to your hotel in Kigali. If you arrive in the morning, you will do a tour of Kigali City in the afternoon and visit some of the interesting places including the local crafts market, Gisozi genocide memorial and Kigali Museum. Enjoy Kigali the arguably tidiest, cleanest, safest and most vibrant capital city in Africa.

Take early morning breakfast and at 7.00am depart for Nyungwe Forest National Park, southwest of Rwanda. You get to visit some of the tourist sites along the way to Nyungwe such as is the Ethnographic Museum of Rwanda in Butare, Huye District.

The museum has a collection of historical, ethnographic, artistic and archeological artifacts, which are an important source of information on the cultural history of Rwanda and the East African region. After the museum visit, you have lunch in Butare, and thereafter proceed to Nyungwe, arriving in the evening direct to the lodge for dinner and overnight.

Early after breakfast set out for the Waterfall Hike in Nyungwe forest. The activity offers a beautiful trek into this ancient forest that dates back before the ice age. Taking a slow-paced trek, you get to observe a diversity of beautiful life which includes several tree species, different monkey species, butterflies, chameleons, beautiful flowers, orchids, old trees with moss, plenty of forest birds, and breathtaking views of the forest.

The hike leads to a beautiful waterfall where you relax off the tiredness and take in the freshness of the cold sprinkles and cool breeze from the waterfall, before you trek back and transfer to the lodge for lunch. The hike is about 4 hours and is excellent for a satisfying nature experience of this remarkable forest.

The trail is neat and properly maintained though it does get muddy and slippery during the rains. Due to some challenging climbs along the way, this is considered moderate trek, hence requiring some fitness preparation for a less strenuous experience.

In the afternoon, go for the canopy walk which starts off at the main reception centre of Uwinka. The walkway measures close to 200 meters in length and hangs 50 meters off the ground, providing a bird’s-eye view of nature in the upper storey of the forest.

Enjoy exhilarating views of the lush forest and observe some wildlife which lives in the canopies such as monkeys, squirrels and lots of birds. This activity is about 2 hours long, after which you return to the lodge for dinner and overnight.

Chimpanzee trekking in Cyamudongo Forest, Tea experience will be the next day’s activity. You will be up as early as 5.30am for breakfast then transfer to the main reception centre to meet the rangers. After pre – trek briefing you head to Cyamudongo Forest for the Chimp trek. Cyamudongo is a small isolated patch of forest that lies to the south of Nyungwe.

It is however an annex of park and hosts the second community of habituated Chimps after the one in Nyungwe Forest National Park. The small size of the forest gives a bigger chance to find the Chimps compared to Nyungwe Forest National Park hence the preference being a perfect choice.

The trek could take from 30mins to several hours before finding the Chimps. You have one hour with the Chimps after which you return to the lodge for lunch and relaxation. In the afternoon you go out to a tea estate, tour the tea plantations, discover how tea is harvested, and go through the processing of the leaves to the final product that is ready for consumption. Tea being Rwanda’s largest export you will observe that a good portion of the scenic green mountainous landscape is of large tea plantations. Return to the lodge for dinner and overnight.

After breakfast, check out and travel to the Volcanoes National Park for exciting tours. Your first visit is to the twin lakes Ruhondo and Burera, which are situated on the outskirts of Musanze and Volcanoes National Park. You will observe the lakes are dotted lush with green islands, surrounded with cultivated hills and back-dropped by the magnificent Virunga Mountains.

After taking in this brilliant sight, continue to Musanze and through the undulating transfer to your lodge situated next to Volcanoes National Park. Have dinner and overnight.

After early morning breakfast, mountain gorilla trekking becomes your next activity. Transfer to park headquarters by 7.00am, taking packed lunch from the lodge and not forgetting a rain jacket and enough drinking water. The driver guide will work with the rangers to assign you a gorilla group, then meet with the ranger for pre – trek briefing and thereafter drive to the start of the trek.

There will be porters you can hire to carry your stuff and offer assistance; a hiking stick is provided free. Get into the park and look for the gorilla trekking through thick vegetation and on tough terrain. You have just an hour to be with the gorillas, return and find your driver to take you back to the headquarters to pick your gorilla trekking certificate and thereafter get back to the lodge.

After lunch, take a hike to the Dian Fossey Tomb Trail which leads to the tomb of the famous Gorilla researcher Dian Fossey and the Karisoke Research Centre. It is a relatively challenging trek through but very rewarding with wonderful views, birdlife, orchids, and sometimes mountain gorillas are encountered. Back to lodge for dinner and overnight.

Early in the morning after breakfast, golden monkey tracking will be another activity for you to take part. Transfer to the park headquarters in Kinigi by 7.00am. Meet the rangers for briefing and thereafter transfer to the start of the trek, just outside the park. You will be tracking a large troop of habituated golden monkeys in Mt. Sabyinyo. The monkeys live in the bamboo vegetation at the bottom of the mountain.

The Rwanda gorilla trek is relatively light, and it doesn’t take long before encountering these striking primates. You will have a wonderful time following them through the bamboo vegetation, and they are incredibly good for pictures, moreover flash is allowed and the monkeys actually seem to love it! After one hour, return to meet your driver and transfer to the lodge for lunch.

In the afternoon you make a visit to the IbyI’wacu Cultural Village for a number of Rwandan cultural performances and traditional experiences such a traditional mock wedding at the King’s palace, performance from traditional Intore dancers, shooting arrows with the Batwa hunters, prepare a local delicacy, etc…  IbyI’wacu literally means, treasures of our home, our heritage. Back to lodge for dinner and overnight.

After all the intense activities there is no better place to chill and relax than at the beautiful sandy beaches of Lake Kivu, enjoy the beautiful weather and wonderful scenery, see lots of water birds, eat fresh fish. There also water activities you can do on the lake such as boat rides. Take one night here to memorize all the past activities.

After breakfast, check out and travel to Kigali. Depending on your flight time, you visit some of the important landmarks, and purchase some souvenirs from the local crafts markets. Transfer to the airport for your flight back home.