This 5-day safari trip is an ideal introduction to Rwanda's wildlife, stunning landscapes, and cultures. You'll track gorillas and golden monkeys in Rwanda's forests, visit Volcanoes National Park, paddle along Lake Kivu by kayak, and explore the happening capital city of Kigali.  

Highlights

  • Look for golden monkeys at the foot of Mount Sabyinyo
  • Visit Ibyi Iwacu Cultural Village
  • Track gorillas in Volcanoes National Park
  • Spend a morning kayaking on peaceful Lake Kivu

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Kigali Kigali
Day 2 Visit Musanze and the Twin Lakes Musanze
Day 3 Look for golden monkeys and visit Ibyi Iwacu Cultural Village Musanze
Day 4 Go trekking in gorilla country Lake Kivu
Day 5 Go kayaking on Lake Kivu before departing from Kigali  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Kigali

Kigali
Kigali

Welcome to the Rwandan capital! Surrounded by valleys and hills, Kigali is stunningly situated. It's up to you what you'll do while you're in this city of a million — go to the Ballet Rwanda, stock up on all the brilliant Rwandan coffee you can, explore the hip Nyamirambo neighborhood, or check out a few of the great cafés and restaurants downtown. 

Day 2: Visit Musanze and the Twin Lakes

Twin Lakes
Twin Lakes

After breakfast and another quick look around Kigali, head to the city of Musanze (also called Ruhengeri). Once you've finished your lunch, visit the famous lakes of Burera and Ruhondo. Surrounded by high hills from which grand waterfalls rush down, this is an amazing location known as the Land of the Thousand Hills.

Day 3: Seek Out Golden Monkeys and Visit Ibyi Iwacu Cultural Village

Ibyi Iwacu Cultural Village
Ibyi Iwacu Cultural Village

Start the day by looking for golden monkeys! There are two local groups that are habituated — one of which has between 80 and a hundred members. They live at the foot of Mount Sabyinyo, and once you find them on your guided safari trek you'll get to spend about an hour in their midst.

After lunch, head to Ibyi Iwacu Cultural Village for the afternoon.  Here you can learn about Rwanda's rural cultures as you watch local dances, learn how various local dishes are prepared, visit the village healer, and hear traditional stories along the way. 

Day 4: Track Gorillas and Visit Lake Kivu

A gorilla in Rwanda
A gorilla in Rwanda

Today, visit Volcanoes National Park. This park is home to the rare mountain gorilla, open grassland, an evergreen and bamboo forest, swampland, and heath. After a briefing on how gorilla tracking works, head off in the early morning in search of these magnificent animals. Spend an hour with them as their go about their daily life —  playing, feeding, resting, and raising their young. In the afternoon, head over to Lake Kivu for a relaxed rest of the day. 

Day 5: Kayak on Lake Kivu before Departing from Kigali

Lake Kivu
Fishing boats on Lake Kivu

Order breakfast and watch the sunrise before heading out for a kayaking trip on Lake Kivu. As you paddle along its coastline, you'll notice traditional Rwandan fishing boats plying the lake, and the countryside's ridiculously green hills rising above the water. Look for local birds as you paddle, then get ready for the drive back to Kigali. It's now the end of your trip! Of course, you could always spend a few more days in Rwanda, or even cross the border and explore the best of Tanzania on another safari adventure.