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RwandaGrand Tour

  • Off the beaten track
This 12-day safari adventure brings you up close to some of the most interesting sites of  Rwanda! Get to know this fascinating country's history and culture in Huye, meet Azizi's friendly local people, hike through the lush rainforest of Nyungwe to spot its unique primates like chimpanzees and Colobus monkeys, venture to Kigali, the dynamic capital at the heart of country, and track the endangere...

This 12-day safari adventure brings you up close to some of the most interesting sites of  Rwanda! Get to know this fascinating country's historyand culture in Huye, meet Azizi's friendly local peoplehike through the lush rainforest of Nyungwe to spot its unique primates like chimpanzees and Colobus monkeys, venture to Kigali, the dynamic capital at the heart of country, and track the endangered mountain gorilla on the slopes of the dramatic 'Volcanoes National Park.' Whether you're an animal, nature, sport, or culture lover - this is the trip for you!

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Customizable tour itinerary

This tour idea is fully customizable

This itinerary has been crafted by our Local Agency with one idea in mind: to inspire you. Every element can be adapted to your needs and your interests, from duration to accommodation and activities.

Day 1: Welcome To Rwanda!

Upon arrival at Kigali International Airport, you'll be met by one of our representatives and transferred to your hotel. This beautiful place offers wonderful serenity, the people here being some of the warmest and most welcoming you could ever hope to meet! Overnight in hotel.

Approximate Travel Times: 0h 15, 10 km


Day 2: A Day Of Life In Azizi 

After an early breakfast, set off to Azizi and journey south to Muhanga, an hour-long drive along a beautiful road, over steep ridges and lush hills.

Azizi Life Experiences offers visitors to Rwanda the unique opportunity to connect and gain insight into the life of rural Rwandans and their families. Through a range of different cultural experience days, you'll get to experience something of the beauty and rigour of daily life. It’s a truly interactive way to learn about Rwandan culture! Lunch at Azizi Life. Overnight at Muhanga.

​Approximate Travel Times: 1h, 80km


Day 3: Explore The ​Nyungwe Forest

After breakfast, we'll follow the road as it climbs and descends some of Rwanda's 'thousand hills,' with spectacular views along the way.

Upon arrival at Nyanza, visit the old royal capital of Nyanza and its museum. Continue to Huye for a brief visit of the National Museum. It is a must for anybody who is interested in African history. Lunch in Huye and continue toward the Nyungwe forest. Overnight at the forest’s edge.

Approximate Travel Times: 5h, 200 km

Nyanza, HuyeNyungwe

Day 4: Chimpanzee Trek And Colobus Monkeys

Covering 1020 km2, the Highlands provide unique habitat for thirteen species of primate, including chimpanzees, 'Hoest's, and owl-faced monkeys. As you walk under the canopy of majestic trees, a large group of  semi-wild colobus monkeys can be seen feeding pn wild figs and jumping from branch to branch.

This high altitude jungle floor boasts some of the most beautiful orchids in the world. The birding here is also superb, with over 300 species and 26 endemics, along with 120 species of butterfly and the ever-changing chameleon hiding in the bushes.

​Approximate Travel Times: 2h, 100 km


Day 5: Along Lake Kivu

En-route to Karongi, enjoy the fantastic views over Lake Kivu and its rugged shore. Experience the peaceful atmosphere of the calm and pristine waters of Africa’s highest lake from the terrace of your hotel. Traditional villages and rolling hills form the backdrop of the drive. Arrive at the hotel for lunch. At 3 pm, boat tour to 'Island Chapeau de Napoleon' - shaped like his hat! Hike to the island for fantastic photo opportunities. Dinner and overnight in Karongi.

Approximate Travel Times: 3h, 125 km


Day 6: Heading North Between The Hills

After a refreshing early morning swim and a hearty breakfast, we'll continue toward north, along the lakeshore. There is plenty of opportunity for shopping and meeting villagers at the colourful market places. Stop off at Rubavu, a small town located on the northern shore of Lake Kivu. Overnight on the lake.

Optional activity: Lake trip from Karongi to Rubavu on a private boat. Duration of about 3 hours.


Day 7: Hot Springs And Coffee Plantations

After a refreshing early morning swim and a hearty breakfast, take a trip to some hot springs, coffee plantations, and washing stations, where you will take part in the coffee process from seed to sip and witness the decades of expertise that go into every cup of Rwanda’s finest. In the afternoon, we continue toward north to Volcanoes National Park. Overnight at the park’s edge.


Day 8: Gorilla Trek In Volcanoes National Park

As the first light of dawn breaks through the curtain of mist clinging to the summits of Karisimbi, Bisoke, Sabyniyo, Gahinga and Muhabura, we'll make our way into the Volcanoes National Park. Tracking the gorillas through the unique vegetation can take several hours of challenging walking in wet and muddy conditions.

Once you reach the gorillas, you can spend an hour with them and be back at base in time for a late lunch! In the afternoon, if time allows, take a tour to the twin lakes of Ruhondo and Bulera before driving back to your hotel. Dinner and overnight stay near Volcanoes National Park.

Approximate Travel Times: 1h, 50 km

Rubavu, Ruhondo Lake

Day 9: Volcanoes National Park: Optional Day Activities

Today, options include a second Gorilla trek, a hike to a group of Golden Monkeys (cercopithecus mitis kandti) endemic to the Virungas, a visit to the Karisoke Research Centre built by Dian Fossey and the site of her grave, located in the park between the Karisimbi and Bisoke Volcanoes - 3 hrs trekking accompanied by a park ranger, or why not climb Bisoke Volcano with its superb crater lake? After lunch at the lodge, drive back to Kigali. Dinner and overnight at Kigali Hotel.

Approximate Travel Times: 3h, 150 km      

Activities not included in tour price

Rubavu, Kigali

Day 10: Boat Trip To Lake Ihema

Early drive to Akagera National Park. In the morning, set off on a short game drive. Lunch at the lodge. At about 3 pm, boat trip on Lake Ihema. Akagera is, above all, big game country. Herds of elephant and buffalo emerge from the woodland to drink at the lakes. Although it does not have lion in the same prolific numbers as some of the other National Parks in Africa, wildlife such as leopard, spotted hyena, buffalo, giraffe, hippo and 11 species of antelope, including the elusive sitatunga, can be spotted throughout the park.

Akagera National Park is set at a low altitude on the border with Tanzania, and this wonderful park couldn't be more different in mood to the breezy, cultivated hills that characterise much of Rwanda. Dominated by the labyrinth of swamps and lakes that follow the meandering course of the Akagera River, the most remote source of the Nile, this is archetypal African savannah landscape of tangled acacia woodland interspersed with open grassland. Overnight in the park.

Approximate Travel Times: 21/2hrs , 170 km


Day 11: Full Day Safari In Akagera

Game drive from south to north. During the game drive along a welldesigned network of tracks, there are plenty of animals one can see including elephants, buffalo, zebra, bushbaby, antelopes and many other mammal species. On rare occasions, you can also see species such as leopard, lion and black rhino. As one of the most scenic savannah in East Africa, the game drive in Akagera provides an opportunity to see gentle hills blending in beautifully with lowland swamps and water bodies. Overnight in the park.


Day 12: Back To Kigali - Departure

Last game drive depending on departure flight. Drive back to Kigali. If time remaining, visit Kigali (genocide museum, craft shop,local market,…). Lunch and airport transfer. We hope you've had a fantastic time!

​Approximate Travel Times: 21/2hrs , 170 km

Akagera, Kigali

KigaliNyanzaHuyeNyungweRubavuRuhondo LakeAkagera

Price details

This tour idea is fully customizable

The price reflects this specific itinerary and is designed to give you an idea of the budget required for this destination. Throughout the trip-planning process, our local agency will tailor your itinerary around your budget.

Approx. $4,490 / 12 days
Excluding international flights
2 Pax4 Pax6 PaxSingle suppl.

Included in price:

  • Accommodation as stated above or similar
  • Meals plan from breakfast day 2 to lunch day 12
  • 1 chimpanzees permit
  • 1 Colobus monkeys permit
  • 1 gorilla permit ($750 USD)
  • Entry park fee at Akagera
  • Azizi Life Experience
  • Transfers in private 4x4 vehicle land-cruiser, open roof and window seat guaranteed
  • Experienced English speaking driver/guide
  • Mineral water in vehicle and during trekking
  • Entry fee at National museum
  • Boat trip on lake Kivu
  • Boat ride on lake Ihema

Not included in price:

  • Meals day 1
  • Optional activity on day 9(Gorilla permits = US$750, or Golden monkeys = US$100 or DianFossey’s grave =US$75 or Bisoke volcano hike =US$). Note: price is per person and only one activity is allowed per day
  • Lake trip from Karongi to Rubavu on a private boat: Contact us!
  • International flights
  • Drinks
  • Laundry service, tipping and other personal expenses
Book your flights to Rwanda
International flights are not included in this trip. Thanks to our partnership with Option Way, you can take advantage of booking your flights directly with your local agent.
Check out the many benefits:
  • Competitive rates
  • All-inclusive prices with no hidden fees
  • Doris, in Rwanda will inform you of any changes to your flights
We also welcome you to book your flights directly through our partner site.

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