1Day 1 : Arrival at Kigali
Gorilla in Rwanda Meet and greet at the Airport by your Magic Safaris guide. Diner (D) is included in the package. Overnight at your Hotel. Flights: There are daily flights to Kigali out of Nairobi with Kenya Airways and Rwandair Express. Accommodation : Hotel Chez Lando, Milles Collines Flights: There are daily flights to Kigali out of Nairobi with Kenya Airways and Rwanda air Express. This makes it easy to combine your short gorilla safari with another East-African safari. Accommodation : Kinigi Guest House , Mountain Gorilla Nest , Virunga Lodge
2Day 2 : Kigali - Butare - Nyungwe Forest NP.
After breakfast you will depart for Butare the second largest city of Rwanda and is regarded as the intellectual city of Rwanda. It hosts the National Museum, several academic (University) and research institutions. On your way to Butare you will visit Nyanza (currently Nyabisindu) the former Mwami's palace (King's palace) and the seat of the feudal monarchy. The palace has been reconstructed to its 19th century state and shows a traditional dome that can be compared with the Kabaka's palace of Buganda. You will visit the National Museum which is one the well set-up if not the finest ethnographic museum of East Africa. It's a good source of information on the cultural history of Rwanda and the region. After the visit of the museum you will have a spectacular performance of the national ballet with the Intore-dancers. The performance is regarded by many as one of the highlights of your safari. Lunch is foreseen in Butare and in the afternoon we will drive to Nyungwe Forest NP. Your driver-guide will stop at the Uwinka offices to have the last update on the presence of the semi-habituated groups of chimps and colobus monkeys. This will help you to prepare your activities of the next Day. Overnight is foreseen at the Guest House of Gisakura. Rwanda has one of the finest traditional handicrafts of Africa. The ceramics, woodcarvings and basketry are found in the streets of Kigali and Butare. The "Intore", once the elite of the traditional Rwanda army, were not only trained as military but also in high jump and dance. They were known for there remarkable technique allowing them to jump over 2m40. The Intore became worldwide famous as dancers in 1958 when the World Expo was held in Brussels. ToDay Intore dancers are part of the rich Rwanda folklore. The warriors dance is a jewel of the choreographic heritage of Rwanda. Dressed with a mane made of sisal fibre, Tied up on ankles, little bells jingle on each step, giving the warriors dance a thrilling rhythm. Throughout the Intore ballet, physical confrontation turns into artistic rivalry and then at "the end" comes out into a vigorous hug of the warriors. This is the most artistic gesture of friendship, mutual aid and protection. The National Museum in Butare was donated in 1989 by the Belgium government and gave back a part of the ethnographic collection acquired during the colonial period. The design and concept of the museum was realized in co-operation with the Royal Museum for Central Africa of Tervuren, Belgium. The modern building has different sections and displays a wide collection of monochrome pictures, traditional artefacts and objects, tools and different craft products. Ethnographic objects are grouped together according to theme giving excellent information on the daily life. Traditional ceramics and basketry are still manufactured and belong to the finest handicrafts of the region. The National Museum remained surprisingly untouched during the civil war in 1994. Accommodation : Guest House of Gisakura Activities : Cultural Activities Parks & places : Butare and the National Museum
3Day 3 : Nyungwe Forest NP
Nyungwe Forest NP is a paradise for hikers. The terrain is rugged and steep, and you will be at relatively high elevation. Wear good hiking shoes and bring warm clothing! Your Day will start with an early breakfast and a briefing at Uwinka tourist information centre. Depending on your personal interests you will have a choice of different opportunities to explore the largest high altitude rainforest of East Africa! Of a particular interest are the large social groups of Angolan Colobus (Colobus angolensis), which may be over 300 individuals. These are the largest troops of this species known in the world! Nyungwe forest counts 25% of the African Primates! One of these groups is semi-habituated and we recommend to start your exploration with a guided primate walk in search of the Angolan Colobus monkeys (black and white Colobus)! Rangers will tell you approximately where the group is located and the hiking times may vary as the group is travelling continuously looking for food. Be prepared to have a more strenuous hiking! In the afternoon you can continue your exploration. There are different beautiful trails available and the superb waterfall trail of Gisakura is probably the most rewarding. The hiking time is 2 up to 3 hours and is a very enjoyable hike accessible to everybody! If you missed the Angolan Colobus you can have another try near to the tea factory where another troop is hosted. Overnight at the Guest house of Gisakura. Nyungwe Forest is the only place in Africa where troops of 300 black-and-white colobus monkeys (Angolan Colobus) can be seen jumping in the trees! A spectacular sight! Accommodation : Guest House of Gisakura Activities : Guided Nature Walks & Hikes. Parks & places : Nyungwe Forest NP.
4Day 4 : Nyungwe Forest NP
Day 4 : Nyungwe Forest NP If the chimps are nearby we recommend to have a chimp tracking experience in Nyungwe! Otherwise you may choose to have another guided primate walk or have one of the hikes in the well-maintained trails. There are l’hoest monkeys and blue monkeys present and often observed around Uwinka, requiring less strenuous hiking. There is also an orchid garden at Uwinka and for those who would like a challenging hike we recommend the trail "the Bigugu Mountain", the highest peak in Nyungwe Forest at nearly 3000m. Bird watchers will certainly be interested to know that Nyungwe has also some Albertine rift endemic species that can only be seen here! Birding is very rewarding on one of the special designed trails! Don’t forget to bring your binoculars with you! Accommodation : Guest House of Gisakura Activities : Bird Watching, Chimpanzee Trekking, Guided Nature Walks & Hikes. Parks & places : Nyungwe Forest NP.
5Day 5 : Nyungwe Forest NP - Kibuye
After breakfast you will leave for Kibuye, passing through the green fields of tea plantations before explorating the shores of Lake Kivu. Kibuye which is one of the three resort town on Lake Kivu is the most beautiul. Arrival at Kibuye is foreseen at lunch time. After Nyungwe, most participants will welcome that relaxing moments on the shores of Lake Kivu! Lake Kivu is Bilharzia free! Rest of the Day at leisure Lake Kivu is unique: Its deep waters contain an enormous quantity of dissolved gas. There are, in fact, 65 billion cubic metres of methane, in other words the equivalent of 50 million tonnes of petrol lying at the bottom of the lake under 250 m of water. If it were exploited, this energy, veritable manna from heaven, would provide Rwanda with an almost inexhaustible source of energy, freeing it from worry about energy needs linked to its development projects. There is a pilot station for the extraction of methane for energy. Accommodation : Guest House of Bethany
6Day 6 : Kibuye - Gisenyi by speed boat (Goma) - Kiningi
After breakfast, you will have an enjoyable speed-boat trip to Gisenyi. The trip is not only an encounter with local people; fishermen, fishing villages but also with the residents of Idjwi Island (Congo) who are rowing long distances in their dugout canoes to visit the Rwanda markets. You will be picked up in Gisenyi for lunch and if time allows we make arrangements to cross the border to Goma (Optional). Goma was devastated by the eruption of the Nyiragongo volcano. The visit shows the fantastic capabilities of the local population to overcome this natural catastrophe! We drive to Ruhengeri and Kinigi for an overnight at your hotel. Idjwi is an island in Lake Kivu, belonging to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. At 40 km in length and with an area of 285 km², it is believed to be the largest inland island in Africa, and the eighth largest in the world. Idjwi is roughly equidistant between the DRC and Rwanda, with 10 to 15 kilometres separating its western shore from the DRC mainland and a similar distance between its eastern shore and the coastline of Rwanda. The island's southern tip, however, lies only 1 kilometre from a promontory of the Rwandan coast. The Nyiragongo volcano (3470 m) erupted on the 17th of January 2002 and destroyed part of Goma town. Most of Goma's 400 000 inhabitants escaped the advancing lava flows crossing the border into neighbouring Rwanda. The eruption destroyed the homes of 120 000 people and caused between 70 and 100 victims. Accommodation : Kinigi Guest House, Mountain Gorilla Nest, Virunga Lodge Parks & places : Volcanoes National Park
7Day 7 : Gorilla Trekking
After breakfast you will report at the ORTPN headquarters where your driver-guide will accomplish the necessary formalities for you. You will meet your ranger guide(s) for a briefing about the greatest animal experience ever. Magic Safaris will drive you to the slopes of one of the Virunga volcanoes for your trekking. After the trekking, lunch at your hotel or at Ruhengeri and in the afternoon, if time allows, an excursion to explore the beautiful lakes in the region: Lake Bulera & Ruhondo. An excellent view of the Virunga chain of Volcanoes can be seen while there depending on weather conditions. Overnight at your hotel. Accommodation : Kinigi Guest House , Mountain Gorilla Nest , Virunga Lodge Activities : Gorilla Trekking Parks & places : Volcanoes National Park
8Day 8 : Second gorilla trekking or another activity - Transfer to Kigali
For a second gorilla trek we propose that you visit one of the groups with a longer hiking time; the Susa group which is located on the slopes of the Karisimbi volcano and has more than 35 members and will give you a great sense of achievement!
9Day 9 : Kigali visit and departure
The half Day Kigali City trip (option) includes a visit to the Genocide Memorial Centre at Gisozi, which takes a few hours. It’s a touching visit! Transfer to Airport for departure. (B-L)