Rwanda is country of rolling hills where one of our closest primates - the mountain gorillas - live with pride. If planning to visit this part of Africa on your next vacations, let this 8-day Rwanda Safari Tour itinerary help you with the top places and things one should not miss visiting/doing in Rwanda. From meeting the giants to exploring the historical monuments, this itinerary has covered you all.
Day 1: Nyaza
Day 2: Nyungwe forest
Day 3: Lake Kivu
Day 4: Akagera National Park
Day 5: Musanze Caves
Day 6-7: Volcanoes National Park
Day 8: Departure
Arrival in Rwanda and visiting the three royal palaces of the king
Witnessing a host of butterflies and reptiles along with more than 300 species of birds in Nyungwe forest
Pamper your eyes with serene blue waters of Africa’s largest lake - Lake Kivu
Spot the Big 5 along with giraffes, zebra, antelopes, baboons and countless birds in Akagera National Park
Be friends with bats in the stunning yet mysterious Musanze Caves
Explore the hidden treasure of Volcanoes National Park
Most of the itineraries force you to spend your first day of the trip on your hotel’s premises. But, if you are full of energy and could not wait for the night to pass by, visiting Nyanza is an ideal option for you. Nyana is known as the historical capital of Rwanda and hence packed with historical palaces in which kings used to live. In total, there are three palaces that you can visit on day one of your Rwanda Safari Tour. The first one is the traditional grass-thatched palace followed by a blockhouse where the King actually lived and the third one was constructed after the King visited Belgium. Visiting the palaces would be great for the first day of your trip as the sightseeing would be light and relaxing.
Kick-start your day by visiting the beautiful tropical forest of Nyungwe. Inside the forest lives a host of butterflies and reptiles along with more than 300 species of birds. This is the place where you will spot around 13 primate species during the hiking. The massive tea plantation emerging next to the forest gives it an all-green look which is just wow to be captured. Also, one can not miss exploring the famous canopy walk in the forest which gives you another way to soak the scenic beauty of the forest. The walk also brings you closer to the golden monkeys who swing one branch to branch in the canopy.
While Rwanda is mainly famous for the primates who live in the lush green forests of Volcanoes National Park, you can always pay a visit to the beautiful lakes to pamper your eyes with serene blue waters. Lake Kivu is Africa’s largest lake and you can visit it on your Rwanda Safari tour.
Being largest in size, Lake Kivu is home to many small islands which you can explore via a splendid boat rides. The lake is situated at 1460m above sea level which allows you to soak up your eyes with the serene beauty of the lake while enjoying swimming and chilling on the beach. If you are looking for a peaceful spot in Rwanda, the Lake Kivu would be a perfect choice. You can visit the lake in the mid of the morning to enjoy the warm sunlight around the beach. And this time would also be ideal for boat rides that will take you to the many islands located in the lake. You can leave the spot in the late evening for your hotel.
No doubt, Rwanda is famous for the mountain gorillas but they are not the only animals you will explore on your Rwanda safari tour. Visit the Akagera National Park which is one of the top national parks of Rwanda where you can experience the real safari game. Moreover, if you are looking for the Big 5 in Rwanda and someone told you that you will have to fly to Tanzania, Uganda, or Kenya for such safaris, fret not. You can still find some in the national park of Akagera. In Rwanda, this is the only place where you can spot the Big 5 along with giraffes, zebra, antelopes, baboons, and countless birds.
Simply put, the Musanze Caves are a bit of an anomaly to be included in a Rwanda Safari tour and it may happen that you do not see them in the list of top tourist attractions of Rwanda. However, spotting them in person could be ridiculously cool and hence you should give these caves a chance to showcase what unique they have. Located 2km from the town of Musanze - which is near to the spot where you will be doing gorilla trek - you will find 4 caves standing tall with pride. The caves have been created from lava flows millions of years ago.
Talking specifically about the attraction of these caves, it would be the countless bats who rule the roost here. When exploring the caves, you will find them flying high in the sky. However, to witness this splendid moment, you will need a guide who can help you find them or walk through them.
One of the top-most attractions of Rwanda is the Volcanoes National Park which is the home to the famous and endangered mountain gorillas. These mountain gorillas reside in the lush green forests of the park and hence can be spotted during the trek. Apart from the gorillas, you can spot some of the endangered species of golden monkeys in the park. This gives you another reason to place Volcanoes National Park in your Rwanda safari tour list.
Volcanoes National Park is not a small park which means things to do in the park are many. You can enjoy gorilla trekking, golden monkey trek, bird watching, hiking, and explore the local community during your two days stay in the park. For the visitors who are interested in staying overnight in the park premises, a bunch of safari camps and lodges are available. One can opt for any of them to spend a night midst of gorillas.
Talking specifically about the gorilla trekking, this would be by far the best experience you will get on your Rwanda Safari. With the help of a local bushman - who will be your guide in the park - you will follow the trails leading to the mountain gorillas. You will learn the tricks to spot the giants in the park. Sometimes, it’s the footprints and sometimes it’s the hooting of the gorillas that will help you find them in the lush green forest of Volcanoes National Park.
Your 8 days Tour in Rwanda is finally completing and today you will be saying Cheerios to the scenic beauty of this place. With lots of special memories in your heart, you will transfer to the airport for a happy return. Do not miss to enjoy your farewell breakfast in the hotel before the exit formalities. You will love the sweet gesture shown by the hotel staff.
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