Trip Inspiration

Trekking and Wildlife in Rwanda

Trekking + Safari

Immerse yourself into the landscape and wildlife of Rwanda. From game drives in Akagera National Park to primate treks in Nyungwe and Volcanoes, you will encounter some of the world's most fascinating animals while learning about the efforts in place to protect them.

Trip Highlights

Locations

  • 2 nights at The Retreat by Heaven in Kigali
  • 3 nights at Magashi Camp in Akagera National Park
  • 3 nights at One&Only Nyungwe House in Nyungwe National Park
  • 3 nights at Singita Kwitonda in Volcanoes National Park

Activities

  • Safari game drives in Akagera National Park
  • Chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe National Park
  • Canopy walk
  • Mountain gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park
What does “Trip Inspiration” mean?

At Travel Beyond, we believe your trip should be designed just for you, not for the masses. Our travel consultants create a custom itinerary for each client, offering recommendations for places and experiences that best fit your style. The itinerary below was planned for a past client, but we’re sharing it for travel inspiration and as an example of what a trip to Rwanda might look like. Let us know when we can design a trip just for you!

Day 1

Arrive Kigali, Rwanda

Welcome to Rwanda! Upon arrival in Kigali, you will be met for your private transfer to The Retreat by Heaven. Accommodations will be reserved for one night, including breakfast daily. Relax and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure!

The Retreat by Heaven Meals: N/A

Day 2

Kigali to Akagera National Park

This morning after breakfast, you will be met by a Travel Beyond representative for your private road transfer to Akagera National Park, where you will spend three nights.

Upon arrival at Magashi, you will enjoy a delicious lunch and then meet your guide and other guests for an afternoon shared safari activity. Dinner will also be served at the camp.

Overlooking beautiful Lake Rwanyakazinga, Akagera National Park is one of Rwanda’s most diverse and animal dense ecosystems. Boasting open plains, woodlands, lakes, swamp, and grassy low mountains, the region is home to one of Africa’s largest hippo populations, incredibly large crocodiles, and over 520 bird species. You’ll also have the opportunity to spot lions , which were reintroduced in 2015 and whose numbers only continue to grow.

Magashi Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Days 3-4

Akagera National Park

On safari! Enjoy morning and afternoon shared game drives or opt for a boating, fishing or birding excursion. All meals will be served at camp.

While you enjoy the beautiful landscape and wildlife, know that you are also contributing to its conservation, as your stay at Magashi directly supports the Wilderness Wildlife Trust. This organization works on various environmental projects including rhino reintroduction, elephant movement studies, desert lion conservation and educating local children about conservation.

Magashi Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Day 5

Akagera National Park to Kigali

Following a morning game drive, you will have a road transfer to back to The Retreat by Heaven. Accommodations will be reserved for one night, including breakfast daily. Relax and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure! You may also participate in one of the 30 minute cultural activities on offer, including cocktail making, local drumming and dance class, banana wine demonstration, and a cooking class. Dinner will be at a local Kigali restaurant.

The Retreat by Heaven Meals: Breakfast / Dinner

Day 6

Kigali to Nyungwe National Park

This morning after breakfast, you will be met by a Travel Beyond representative for your road transfer to One&Only Nyungwe  House.

Situated on the edge of Nyungwe National Park and the tea plantations of Gisakura, this region is home to Africa’s oldest rainforest ecosystem and immense biodiversity. Your home for the next three nights, you have the opportunity to participate in many of the lodge’s various activities, each of which immerse you in the surrounding landscape and rich history.

Enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure or explore the hotel’s various offerings. Lunch and dinner will be served at the lodge.

One&Only Nyungwe House Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Day 7

Nyungwe National Park

Early this morning, alongside an expert guide, you will embark on a chimpanzee trek.

Walking deep into the heart of the jungle, you’ll keep your eyes and ears out for signs of these primates. You might come upon a chimpanzee gazing down at you from atop a tree or encounter an entire troop swinging through the canopy.  There is no better way to gain insight into their habits than by simply standing in observation and you can bet that these charismatic primates make every trek unique. A special permit is required to participate and the fee goes directly toward protecting the chimpanzees and their jungle home.

Later this afternoon, following lunch and some relaxation, you will set off on a rainforest canopy walk. Hanging 60 meters above the jungle floor, the bridges provide an entirely new perspective and the perfect opportunity to learn about the diverse flora and fauna surrounding you. These include rare primates, reptiles, butterflies and many exotic birds. The only treetop walkway in East Africa, you will move between giant trees as if floating and without leaving even a footprint behind.

Back at the lodge, you can enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure.

One&Only Nyungwe House Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Day 8

Nyungwe National Park

Enjoy a day at leisure or choose to partake in one of the lodge’s activities. Take a tour of the Gisakura Tea Estate during which you can pluck, dry and then brew your own local tea. The experience culminates with a traditional tea ceremony, allowing you to sample the many different flavor profiles.

You may also, if scheduling allows, participate in Umuganda, or “the coming together in common purpose to achieve an outcome.” Falling on the last Saturday of every month, you have the opportunity to join the community in initiatives such as tree planting or school building.

One&Only Nyungwe House Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Day 9

Nyungwe National Park to Volcanoes National Park

This morning you will be met by a Travel Beyond representative for your private road transfer to Singita Kwitonda, located on the edge of Volcanoes National Park.

Staying for three nights, you can expect unparalleled service and a top notch trekking experience. Focused on the protection of the mountain gorillas who call the nearby jungle home, the lodge prides itself on both its access to the park and also its ability to educate those who visit. In its Conservation Room, guests can learn about the primate and its habitat through journals, artifacts, maps, and Singita’s conservation specialists who are on hand to answer any questions you might have.

The property also operates the Akarabo Nursery,  meaning “little flower” in Kinyarwanda. Established with the desire to reforest, rehabilitate and maintain the gorilla’s ecosystem, there are now more than 250,000 saplings.

After check-in, you can enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure or exploring the property.

Singita Kwitonda Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Days 10-11

Volcanoes National Park

This morning you will be transferred to the Volcanoes National Park Headquarters for your gorilla trek.

Here you will meet your National Park guides and be assigned to one of the habituated gorilla families in the park. Each family is different, with varying numbers of gorillas. You will be trekking with others in a group and the trek to find gorillas can be short or long, but on most days an hour or two of rough hiking each way is necessary.

Your climb begins through the lush terraced farmland of the lower volcanic slopes. As the slopes become steeper and rockier, the vegetation becomes thick and the guides must use their machetes to help clear a path. Huge trees, clinging vines and undergrowth add to the challenge.

Usually at around 8,000 ft., signs of the huge animals become apparent. Damage to the bamboo trees is an obvious sign as the gorillas relish the young tender shoots and break older stems to suck the sap. The smell of gorilla may waft by in the stray breeze, and as you near, you will hear their sounds, which can be loud crashes or dull reverberating thuds. Once you find the gorillas visitors are strictly limited to a one hour visit before your trek back to the park headquarters. Note that your permit fees go directly toward protecting the gorillas and their habitat.

Following your trek, you will return to the lodge for lunch. The rest of the day is yours to spend as you wish. Visit the local village, enjoy a snack, or perhaps wander down to the nursery to learn about the reforestation project, stroll through the rows of trees and enjoy a cup of tea.

Singita Kwitonda Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Day 12

Depart Africa

Today you will be met by a Travel Beyond representative for your private road transfer to the Kigali Airport. Upon arrival at the airport, you will check in for your commercial flights home.

Overnight Flight Meals: Breakfast