• Rwanda in Depth

  • Rwanda in Depth

Safari with iconic African wildlife, visit chimpanzees, and come face to face with mountain gorillas

Days: 11 | From: $13,950/per person

  • Includes accommodations at best in class hotels and lodges
  • Travel with an expert private guide in a custom safari vehicle
  • Includes both chimpanzee and gorilla trekking

Journey through the rolling green hills of Rwanda, a country of unparalleled natural beauty. Experience an emerging art scene and fine dining in Kigali, then safari in Akagera National Park, a network of beautiful lakes and exceptional wildlife. Observe chimpanzees as they play among the trees in Nyungwe Forest, then come face to face with the last mountain gorillas in the lush forest of Volcanoes National Park, the ultimate wildlife experience.

Inquire about this trip

Talk to our Africa Specialist Dervla Pinto
(800) 342-1796

We tailor itineraries to your dates and interests, adjusting hotels, excursions and length as desired.

We consistently receive 5 star reviews from our discerning clients.

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At a glance

  • Kigali
    1 night: Explore Rwanda's modern capital, home to fine dining and superb coffee culture
  • Akagera National Park
    2 nights: Safari in search of iconic African wildlife, and enjoy the peaceful lakes of this diverse ecosystem
  • Kigali
    1 night: Visit vibrant markets and art galleries, take a coffee masterclass, or pay your respects at the genocide memorial
  • Nyungwe National Park
    3 nights: Observe chimpanzees in their forest home, visit a tea cooperative, and tour the area by bicycle
  • Volcanoes National Park
    3 nights: Take in the stunning mountain views as you trek through the forest in search of gorillas and observe their daily rituals

  • All itineraries are fully customizable. We will send you a personalized variation that reflects your interests and travel dates at no extra cost. Call to discuss your travel plans with one of our Specialists who know this region firsthand.

Customize this trip
(800) 342-1796

Sample itinerary

Day 1:

Welcome to Africa!

Arrive to Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda. Known as the land of 1,000 hills, Rwanda is a vibrant landscape of rolling green hills, forests and tea plantations. With one of the best road networks on the continent and a fashionable capital brimming with cafes and restaurants, Rwanda is a beacon of modernity and culture. Your private guide will be waiting to transfer you to your boutique hotel for the evening.

Accommodations: The Retreat

The Retreat is a 20-room luxury boutique hotel located on a tree-lined street steps from Kigali City Center and 20 minutes from the airport. Eight brand new luxury pool villas and a new wine lounge are now on offer as well to round out the experience. The Retreat is Kigali’s first eco-friendly resort and features solar electricity, organic toiletries, locally-crafted furniture from a Tanzanian sustainable teak farm, outdoor showers, private terraces, a yoga and meditation room, spa, large heated saltwater swimming pool with jacuzzi and diving rocks, and an open-air fitness center.

*Includes: Breakfast

Day 2:

Travel from Kigali to Akagera National Park

Set out with your private guide toward Akagera National Park, traveling through lush green hills, colorful villages, tea plantations and fertile farmland. Rwanda offers incredible scenery, and today you will be fully immersed in it.

Arrive at the park gate and begin a leisurely game drive toward your luxury tented camp, overlooking beautiful Lake Rwanyakazinga. Akagera is a conservation success story, with a recent expansion of the park and the reintroduction of endemic species. Comprising scenic savannah, open plains, woodlands, lakes, swamps, and low grassy mountains, this park is home to one of Africa’s highest hippo densities, very large crocodiles, the rare sitatunga antelope, and more than 500 bird species.

Accommodations: Magashi Luxury Tented Camp, 2 nights

Perched on Magashi Peninsula, Magashi Camp looks out over scenic Lake Rwanyakazinga towards the Mutumba Mountains in the west. On the peninsula’s western side, waterbuck, impala and warthog can often be seen grazing, while on the eastern flank, eland frequent the lakeshore. The shore itself offers views of hippo, large crocodiles and a chance of elephant bulls, while the core of the Amahoro lion pride is encapsulated by this spit of land. Magashi has been established in partnership with the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and African Parks, demonstrating a commitment to pioneering sustainable and authentic ecotourism in Rwanda. The core purpose here is to help conserve Rwanda’s last protected savannah ecosystem, and species like black rhino and the rare and elusive shoebill; furthermore, presence of this camp in Akagera National Park will contribute towards enabling it to become economically self-sufficient for the first time

*Includes: All Inclusive

Day 3:

Safari in Akagera National Park

Embark on your first morning game drive with your expert safari guide in search of buffalo, elephant, lion, giraffe, spotted hyaena, zebra, topi, roan, eland, and the elusive leopard.

During the heat of midday, enjoy leisure time in your sumptuous camp. In the afternoon, opt for a guided nature walk or a boat cruise on the lake, or explore new areas of the park on another game drive.

Accommodations: Magashi Luxury Tented Camp, 2 nights

*Includes: All Inclusive

Day 4:

Return to Kigali

As the sun rises over the open savannah, enjoy a last game drive before heading back to Kigali for an afternoon of touring with your private local guide.

Visit vibrant markets, art galleries and boutiques, take a coffee masterclass, or pay your respects at the sobering genocide memorial and museum. This afternoon can be fully tailored to your unique interests. Take some time to relax, perhaps with a visit to the hotel spa before going to dinner at one of the city’s burgeoning fine dining restaurants.

Accommodations: The Retreat

*Includes: Breakfast

Day 5:

Transfer to Nyungwe National Park

Set out for the lush rainforests of Nyungwe National Park on another scenic drive with your private guide. Along the way, visit the King’s Palace and Butare Museum, and learn about ancient African Kingdoms that still thrive today.

In the afternoon, arrive at your luxury eco-lodge in Nyungwe Forest National Park. Most known for its primate population with 13 different species, this is one of the best places to witness habituated chimpanzees conduct their complex social lives in the trees. The forest is also home to over 200 different species of trees, as well as a huge range of flowering plants, making it a wildly biologically diverse ecosystem. Surrounded by lush tea plantations and rolling hills, Nyungwe is an idyllic place to explore.

Accommodations: One and Only Nyungwe House, 3 nights

Set seamlessly at the heart of its own lush tea plantation and surrounded by ancient rainforest, One & Only’s Nyungwe House is an architectural dream, blending modernity seamlessly with its surroundings.
Nyungwe Forest itself is an ancient place of mahogany trees, giant ferns and dainty orchids. It is celebrated for its wide diversity of animal species and the lodge offers a range of treks, hikes and activities to see chimpanzees, white colobus, grey-cheeked, golden and rare Mangabey monkeys. Explore from new heights on the canopy walk, ride mountain bikes, take a day trip stunning Lake Kivu or engage with local culture on a range of tailored experiences that will highlight everything from crafts, to tea, cuisine and more.

*Includes: All Inclusive

Day 6:

Into the wilds of Nyungwe

Rise early and trek into the forest with your expert naturalist guide in search of wild chimpanzees. Watching them dash at high speed through the trees, playing and calling to one another, is an exhilarating wildlife encounter. The chimps are most active in the morning, so you will be up with the sun for maximum viewing opportunity, with a prepared breakfast to enjoy along the way.

Accommodations: One and Only Nyungwe House, 3 nights

*Includes: All Inclusive

Day 7:

Another Day in Nyungwe

Today you have the freedom to choose your activities. Hike the extensive network of trails with a private guide, experience local villages and their art and culture on foot or by bicycle with an engaging local guide, head into the treetops on an extensive canopy walk, or visit a nearby tea plantation and learn the secrets of this ancient drink. Discover deep relaxation and a sense of renewal with a treatment at your hotel’s full-service spa.

You may also choose to stay close to the lodge, exploring the breathtaking grounds with a private guide. Spot some of the other 12 species of primates or the many feathered inhabitants, walk the organic gardens with the chef or sip a signature cocktail as you watch the sunset over the surrounding forest and tea plantations.

Accommodations: One and Only Nyungwe House, 3 nights

*Includes: All Inclusive

Day 8:

Drive to Volcanoes National Park

Drive along the picturesque shores of Lake Kivu, making your way north toward the gorillas in Volcanoes National Park. Enjoy a picnic lunch during a scenic stop as you drive the gorgeous winding roads of Rwanda with your private guide and vehicle. You will be met with the dramatic view of stunning lakes and distant volcanoes as you arrive at your hilltop lodge.

Volcanoes National Park is one of the oldest in Africa, receiving its first protections in 1925. Framed by the stunning backdrop the Rwenzori Mountain Range and five of the eight Virunga volcanoes, entering this park feels like going back in time. This park was also famously the base of American naturalist Dian Fossey from 1967, as she conducted vital research on the gorillas of the region. She is widely credited with saving species from extinction by shining a light on their plight at the time, making this park a true conservation success story.

While the park is known for its resident mountain gorillas, plenty of other mammals reside here too, including the golden monkey, black-fronted duiker, buffalo, spotted hyena and bush buck. There are 178 recorded bird species, with at least 13 species and 16 subspecies endemic to the Virunga and Rwenzori Mountains.

Accommodations: Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, 3 nights

Set on the edge of the Parc National des Volcans in a lush green property of 11 hectares, Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge enjoys fabulous and dramatic views of the surrounding volcanoes.

All guest cottages are discretely situated amongst the hills and the verdant vegetation of the Sabyinyo property. Each beautifully appointed ensuite cottage, with its country-chic style and open log fires, is a perfect haven of warmth and luxury. The main lodge building is designed with the guest in mind. Assorted seating areas in the main lounge, reception and entertainment room provide for intimate privacy, or the opportunity to meet other guests, and fireplaces throughout create a luxuriously warm and inviting atmosphere.

Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge is an exciting combination of both a world-class lodge partnered with important socio-economic development and conservation initiatives in the areas adjacent to the Parc National des Volcans.

*Includes: All Inclusive

Day 9:

Trek with the Mountain Gorillas

Wake to uninterrupted views of the misty volcanoes and enjoy breakfast before setting off for your trek to meet the mountain gorillas. Sitting with these magnificent animals in their natural habitat, watching them interact, is truly an unforgettable wildlife experience.

Trek through the thick forest terrain with your expert guides to seek out a specific gorilla group. The length of your trek will vary, depending on which gorilla family group you visit. Once your gorilla group is located, you will spend about an hour with them, observing these gentle creatures as they go about their daily lives.

Accommodations: Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, 4 nights

*Includes: All Inclusive

Day 10:

Another day in Volcanoes National Park

Today you may wish to embark on a second gorilla trek to spend additional time with a different family group for a more in-depth experience, or hike in search of golden monkeys. Visit a local village, take a trip to the Dian Fossey Center, go for a privately guided hike, or enjoy a bike ride as you reconnect with nature in this incredible natural landscape.

Accommodations: Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, 3 nights

*Includes: All Inclusive

Day 11:

Farewell Africa

Travel back to Kigali and connect with your flight home or onward to your next destination. If you have a long layover we are happy to arrange for touring in the city with a private local guide, or a day room where you can relax and freshen up before your flight.

*Includes: Breakfast

Popular Ways to Customize This Itinerary

  • Choose from a selection of carefully curated lodges and hotels to ensure this trip fits your travel style.

  • Opt for a helicopter transfer to and from Kigali for an exciting way to view the countryside.

  • Include some downtime for rest and relaxation! Some free time to unwind or have a massage will allow you to feel refreshed and ready for the remainder of your trip. Many of our properties include excellent spas or wellness centers. We can help arrange these services or include properties that offer health & wellness amenities.

  • Engage with locals in a meaningful, authentic and culturally respectful way with a visit to a community project or village

  • Have dinner with a gorilla doctor. Learn from these incredible professionals on the front lines of conservation at a privately hosted dinner.

  • Combine this trip with the iconic parks of Kenya or Tanzania. Just a short connection away lies a whole other safari landscape.

  • Contact us to learn about more options for designing and customizing your trip.

Call us to start planning your journey today:

1-(800)-342-1796

Request more information

Why Travel with Vaya?

We're TRUE specialists

We’ve not only traveled there, we’ve lived there. Our smart and engaging specialists are all current or former expatriates with years of experience in the region.

Uplifting service

From the first phone call to after you get back, we're here for you every step of the way. We listen, create, customize and advocate for you, and design experiences that go beyond the expected.

Thoughtful travel

Our discerning sensibility and good taste go beyond just choices in hotels and top guides; we have a walk the walk commitment to the environment and are genuine leaders in conservation efforts.