Best of Rwanda (14 days)
Our 14-day trip brings you the best of Rwanda: where the savannah meets the rainforest.
Expect to see the animals of the savannahs (elephant, buffalo, giraffe, hippo, leopard) and up to 15 primate species, including gorillas and chimps!!!
This trip specifically includes the most important and well known national parks of Rwanda: Akagera National Park, Nyungwe Forest National Park, Volcanoes National Park and Lake Kivu.
- Meet the gorillas in the Volcanoes National Park
- Visit Dian Fossey's Grave
- See chimpanzees and 12 other monkey species in Nyungwe Forest
- Game drives (safaris) in Akagera National Park
- Boat trips on Lake Akagera and the Rusizi River
- Visit the Genocide Memorial in Kigali and the National Museum in Butare (Huye)
- See the Bugarama Hot Springs and the beautiful Lake Kivu
- Meet the local people and/or the pygmies and see their local way of living
Day to day program
Kigali - Akagera National Park
After breakfast we drive to Akagera National Park. On our way we enjoy the beautiful landscape and rural way of life of the local people.
Akagera National Park
Game drive in the morning in Akagera National Park. Boat trip and game drive in the afternoon.
Akagera National Park is Rwanda's only Savannah national park. The scenery is beautiful and expect to see elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, hippos and crocodiles. With a little luck lions and leopards are possible.
Akagera National Park - Kigali
Game drive in the morning. Picnic lunch at the top of Mount Mutumba (1.825m) with stunning panoramic views of the park. Transfer to Kigali afterwards.
Kigali - Butare - Nyungwe Forest
Transfer to Butare (Huye) where it is possible to visit the National Museum and Nyanza Hill (optional activities). Afterwards transfer to Nyungwe Forest.
Early morning Chimpanzee tracking in Nyungwe Forest. Optional walk to the waterfall or visit to the Angolan Black Colobus monkeys (both activities optional).
Nyungwe Forest is East Africa's largest forest, with 13 monkey species, including chimpanzees, Angolan Black Colobus, Mona Monkey and Owl Faced Monkeys.
Go for a nature walk or bird watching, make the primate walk, make the canopy walk or do the waterfall trail (one activity included).
Nyungwe - Kibuye (Lake Kivu)
We drive to the Bugarama Hot Springs (the largest and biggest natural spring in Rwanda) via Cyamudongo Natural Forest. It is possible to take a warm bath in the hot springs (optional). Afterwards we drive to River Rusizi for a boat trip with lunch and drinks. Drive to Kibuye town.
Kibuye - Gisenyi (Lake Kivu)
Relax at the lodge or at the shores of scenic Lake Kivu. It is also possible to make a walk along the lake's shores. Afterwards drive to Gisenyi.
Gisenyi - Volcanoes National Park
Relax at the beach in the morning, go for a nature walk along the shore or visit Bugarama hot springs. In the afternoon we drive to the Volcanoes National Park.
Volcanoes National Park is a unique jungle, with many monkey species, including the endemic Golden Monkeys. Volcanoes National Park is part of the Virunga Mountains, covering Uganda, Rwanda and Congo, and one of the two places in the world where you can find Mountain Gorillas!
Volcanoes National Park
Gorilla tracking!!! Early morning departure with your ranger to search for one of the world's most interesting and endangered animals, the Mountain Gorilla! You will spend one hour with one of our closest relatives. An experience you will never forget.
Nature walk through the beautiful environment in the afternoon (optional).
Volcanoes National Park - Lake Ruhondo
Optional activities for today (one activity included): make a nature walk in the national park, visit the golden monkeys, climb one of the volcanoes, or visit Diane Fossey's grave.
It is also possible to make another gorilla tracking.
Afterwards we drive to Lake Ruhondo and Lake Burera; the Twin Lakes.
Lake Ruhondo - Kigali
We drive around the lakes and visit the Musangabo viewing point. Optional nature walk around the lakes. Afterwards we drive to Kigali. It is also possible to visit the local people or the pygmies (optional).
Legend: BB = Bed and Breakfast / HB = Half Board / FB = Full Board
Prices per person, in USD, based on double/twin sharing
|Medium Budget||High Budget|
|Based on private group of 6 persons||2.155||3.215|
|Based on private group of 4-5 persons||2.425||3.475|
|Based on private group of 2-3 persons||3.080||4.095|
|Gorilla Permit per person||750||750|
|Options||Medium Budget||High Budget|
|Single room Supplement||385||610|
|Upgrade to Full Board per person per day||30||n.a.|
- Some lodges may ask for seasonal surcharges for the Easter and Christmas Holidays
- Airport transfers
- Accommodations with meals mentioned
- Bottled drinking water
- 4x4 custom built vehicle with knowledgeable driver/guide and fuel
- Entrance fees to the included National Parks
- The following activities: bird watching, game drives, boat trip on Lake Akagera, picnic lunch Mt. Mutumba, chimp tracking in Nyungwe Forest, canopy walk in Nyungwe Forest, boat trip on Rusizi river, visit to Lake Ruhondo and Burera and Musangabo falls
- International flights
- Visa for Rwanda
- All optional activities
- Meals not mentioned and beverages
- Tips and personal expenses such as laundry and communication
Group Tours – Guaranteed Departures
Medium budget, with a minimum of 2 persons
08-07-2017 – 21-07-2017
A certificate proving that you have received a yellow fever vaccination is obligatory. Furthermore all required inoculations must be recorded by your health practitioner on a valid vaccination certificate. You must carry this document with you throughout the tour. All visitors should take malaria prophylactic drugs. We also advise that you bring a mosquito repellent with you. Always consult your doctor or pharmacist for up to date requirements, inoculations and personal recommendations!
Normally you need the following vaccinations (but please always consult a doctor):
- Yellow Fever (you must have this can even be checked on arrival, especially when flying within East Africa)
For Malaria you need to take tablets, Malarone or Lariam. Malarone is mostly used (please always consult a doctor).
Hygiene is not at the same standard as in your home country, so we advise you to bring a disinfectant cream with you. Always drink bottled water instead of tap water.
On arrival on the airport our guide will be there waiting for you. During safari we use custom made safari vehicles, custom made for an optimal view of the wildlife. Safari vehicles (and small aircrafts) provide limited space for luggage. It is therefore recommended to travel with light bags since bulky suitcases will overload and might be difficult to be taken on board.
For Rwanda the visa procedure is very different and very strict. When you are visiting Rwanda you must take these steps.
First go to this webpage: https://www.migration.gov.rw/index.php?id=203. You are now on the website of the Rwanda Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration. Here you find the necessary information about the ‘Class V-1(s) Single Entry Visa-Online Visa’ which is suitable for most people who travel to Rwanda for holiday purposes. Please read the information on the website carefully.
Nationals of Australia, Germany, Israel, New Zealand, Republic of South Africa, Sweden, United Kingdom, and United States of America will be issued with entry visa valid for a period up to 30 days and pay for a visa (USD 30) upon arrival without prior application.
On this webpage you will see a link to the online application form through which you can apply for the visa you need. Fill this form in its entirety. You will be asked to mention your entry point. Normally we use entry point number 5 (Cyanika) when you are coming from South-Western Uganda. This is the border crossing near Volcanoes National Park. When arriving in Kigali by plane, you will use entry point number 1 (Kigali International Airport). You are also requested to attach an invitation letter. This letter will be send to you by your Kazinga Tours contact person. When you send the form you will immediately receive a tracking code. This code helps you to keep track on how far your application has progressed. You can check its status from this webpage: https://www.migration.gov.rw/index.php?id=27. The Rwandan authorities will send you a letter in the email after they have approved your application (please check you SPAM folder too). Print this letter and bring it with you when you arrive at the overland border or at Kigali International Airport. You need this letter to be allowed to purchase the entree visa there. It is your own responsibility to arrange your visa(s) correctly and in time, but if anything is unclear of course we will be glad to assist you.
Note: This information is subject to change! Always consult the Rwandan embassy in your country if you are not sure.
Note: The Rwanda website is offline every now and then, if so, please try again later.
In most of the cities it is possible to withdraw money from an ATM. Travelers Cheques are not widely accepted and it is very difficult or impossible to pay by credit card outside the cities. The US dollar is traditionally the hard currency of preference. We advise to bring some Dollars for daily expenses and tips.
Dollar bills should not be older than 10 years.
The unit of currency is the Rwandan Franc. Please check the latest exchange rates before you go to your destination. This will be a guideline. Please note you will get a better exchange rate in the bigger cities.
We advise you to apply for a Flying Doctors membership. The membership provides a quick and reliable air evacuation and medical care if needed.
AMREF Flying Doctors offers 2 covers (Annual and Tourist). You can choose between the Maisha Silver (Kenya, Tanzania and Zanzibar), Maisha Gold (Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi) or Maisha Platinum (Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and Ethiopia).
Please check out the AMREF Flying Doctors website for more information and to become a member.
The official languages of Rwanda are French and English, the local language is Kinyarwanda.
Rwanda is a tropical country, with higher temperatures at lower altitudes (Akagera).
Areas around Nyungwe, Lake Kivu and Volcanoes National Park are generally cooler.
Rwanda can be visited at any time throughout the year. But please keep in mind that mountain hikes, gorilla tracking and other forest walks are more challenging during the rainy seasons (March - May and October - November).
For birders the rainy season is considered to be the best time to visit Rwanda.
Rainy season means it rains more often, but not every day and not the whole day.
Daytime temperatures are generally warm to hot, so bring lots of light clothing. Evenings are cooler, especially at high altitudes (areas around Volcanoes National Park and the Virungas), so carry a couple of sweaters too.
Those who intend to do mountain hiking will be exposed to alpine temperatures and should pack accordingly. Solid walking shoes and sturdy clothing are ideal for forest walks.
When you are doing gorilla tracking some gardeners gloves are handy because of the thick vegetation and thorns.
Do not forget to bring a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and a waterproof jacket. During safaris we advise to avoid black and dark blue clothes (because they can attract tsetse flies).
If you are planning on doing a community walk or visit the local people, we advise you to wear appropriate clothing. For example women putting on long skirts and a top that covers the shoulders.
A valid passport is mandatory (passport must be valid for at least 3 months after re-entry) and visa requirements for all countries you are planning to visit should be checked before you travel.
To make the most of your visit to the game reserves and national parks, we advise you to carry binoculars and field guides.
Photographers will need a zoom lens for wildlife (70-300 or more). Please make sure to carry enough memory cards with you. Toiletries and other essentials can be bought in the cities.
A torch (flashlight) can proof to be very useful
We advise you to take an international adapter with you for your electric equipment. The system used in Rwanda is the Western European system. In most lodges it is possible to charge your batteries.
Driving in Rwanda is on the right-hand side.
Visitors without experience of African roads are advised to travel with a 4x4 vehicle driven by a knowledgeable driver/guide, rather than self-drive.
Please mind that washrooms along the road are sometimes not to European standards, for example squatting toilets, no flushing toilets or no toilet paper available. Like the locals say: T.I.A. This Is Africa.
Bathroom facilities and accommodations can be more basic when traveling on a medium to low budget. In the eco lodges mind that the water reserves are limited and in most cases there are no sockets in the room, but you can always charge your devices at the reception.
Tipping will always be appreciated. It is normal to tip 5-10% in hotels and restaurants. Guides, drivers and carriers should always be tipped. Indication: for carriers USD 1-3 and for your driver/guide USD 5-15 per day, depending on the group size, number of days and your satisfaction.
The Bradt Travel Guide is the most detailed guidebook for Rwanda. The Lonely Planet produces another guidebook (Lonely Planet East Africa). For wildlife, the best guidebook is ‘Watching Wildlife East Africa’ from the Lonely Planet. For birding, the best guidebook is ‘birds of East Africa’. It is advisable to get the most updated copy.