Outdoor Activities | Relaxation Tours | Honeymoon and Anniversary Packages
Outdoor Activities | Relaxation Tours | Honeymoon and Anniversary Packages

Golden Monkey Safari

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Golden Monkey Safari in a nutshell

You’ll be met at Kigali Airport by your guide and private 4WD and head east to Akagera National Park. Akagera is a park of diverse landscapes with dry savannah, rolling grassland and a complex network of lakes and channels, lined with papyrus swamps. Plains game is plentiful, predator and elephant numbers are growing, and this is a birders’ paradise.

Following a short overnight stop back in Kigali you’ll drive to Volcanoes National Park. First, visit the playful endemic golden monkeys on the lower mountain slopes, to help you acclimatise. On your second and third mornings, you’ll wake early and trek into the forest in search of the famous mountain gorillas. Surprisingly unphased by your presence, they offer without a doubt an unforgettable wildlife encounter.

After your time in the Volcanoes you’ll head to one of Africa’s Great Lakes – Lake Kivu. Here, you can try your hand at kayaking or visit a nearby coffee farm, or just simply relax on the lakeshore.

Finally, rested and rejuvenated, make your way to the stunning and biodiverse Nyungwe Forest. Explore the area on a variety of different forest walks and – if you are feeling brave – try the canopy rope bridge. Your real highlight is likely to be an early-morning trek in search of chimpanzees, who may be dancing in the trees or feeding on the forest floor; be prepared to move fast to keep up with them!

Golden Monkey Safari: Day-by-day

Our aim is always to design a trip around your wishes; this is simply an idea for a safari with your own personal guide and 4WD. Do talk to us to design your perfect trip.


DAY 1

Starts: Kigali International Airport

DAY 1

Kigali to Akagera by private 4WD

Having met your guide at the airport, you’ll be driven east in your own 4WD through rolling hills and small farms with bananas and tropical fruit growing on the side of the road. It’s a beautiful drive, usually arriving at Ruzizi Tented Lodge on the shores of Lake Ihema after around three hours. Should you wish to stop, however – perhaps to take photos or to visit a village – just chat to your guide about the options. This is very much your trip.

Kigali Tour and Genocide Memorial Visit
DAY 1

Kigali Tour and Genocide Memorial Visit

Rwanda’s capital city, Kigali, is a fascinating spot. Modern developments are springing up, and the country is proud of the capital’s progress. Take the time to appreciate Kigali’s intricacies, both modern and historical, exploring with your expert and perhaps visiting the important Genocide Memorial and museum.

Ruzizi Tented Lodge
DAYS 1-3

Ruzizi Tented Lodge

2 NIGHTS

FULL BOARDAKAGERA NATIONAL PARK, RWANDA

Since it was opened in 2012, Ruzizi Tented Lodge, has proved a welcome addition to Akagera National Park. It’s a simple, eco-friendly lodge located within the park itself, in a good position to explore the varying landscapes of Akagera.

DAY 2

Akagera Sunset Boat Safari

Akagera’s Lake Ihema is a beautiful contrast to the rolling hills of the east of Rwanda, and the flatter plains to the north. Relax and enjoy the peace and quiet on your cruise, while watching the sunset over the lake and the national park beyond.

DAY 3

Akagera to Kigali by road

Today’s journey back to Kigali gives you the chance to absorb the beauty of the surroundings as you leave Akagera. Do discuss the drive with your guide beforehand so you can enjoy the trip at your own pace – perhaps including a stop for coffee or lunch before arriving at the Kigali Serena Hotel in the centre of the Rwandan capital.

Kigali Serena Hotel
DAY 3

Kigali Serena Hotel

1 NIGHT

BED & BREAKFASTKIGALI, RWANDA

Kigali Serena Hotel, formerly known as Kigali InterContinental Hotel, is a large, upmarket hotel with plenty of modern facilities. Located in Rwanda’s busy capital city, it is just 10km from Kigali International Airport.

DAY 4

Kigali to Nyungwe Forest NP by road

Your private guide will collect you from the Kigali Serena Hotel for the journey to Nyungwe, continuing your exploration of this “country of a thousand hills”. The drive takes you through farmland and rice fields, with lunch en route, typically reaching Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel, with its stunning forest views, after around six hours. But this is very much your trip, so if you’d like to stop for photos, to visit a village, or to take in the King’s Palace, do chat to your guide about the options.

King’s Palace & Museum Visit
DAY 4

King’s Palace & Museum Visit

If your trip in Rwanda incorporates travelling south from Kigali, a visit to the King’s Palace and Museum gives an interesting insight into Rwanda’s cultural history and monarchy. It’s also ideally placed to break up the long journey to Nyungwe Forest.

Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel
DAYS 4-7

Nyungwe Top View Hill

3 NIGHTS

FULL BOARDNYUNGWE FOREST NATIONAL PARK, RWANDA

Opened in 2011, Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel is a short drive off the main road, on top of a steep hill. From its hilltop vantage point, Top View has beautiful views across the neighbouring forest and tea plantations, and its proximity to the headquarters of Nyungwe Forest National Park makes it is a good base for trekking to see the chimpanzees and exploring the forest.

Chimpanzee Trekking in Nyungwe Forest
DAY 5

Chimpanzee Trekking in Nyungwe Forest

Trekking to see the chimpanzees in Nyungwe Forest National Park can be exhilarating. While sighting them in dense forest can be challenging, to watch them cavorting in the tree tops, their all-too-human characteristics to the fore, makes this an exceptionally rewarding half-day excursion.

Colobus Trekking in Nyungwe
DAY 6

Colobus Trekking in Nyungwe

Search for Colobus Monkeys during a trek in Nyungwe Forest.

DAY 7

Nyungwe to Lake Kivu by 4WD

As you travel north today, the forests of Nyungwe give way to stunning views over Lake Kivu and its islands, stretching as far as the Democratic Republic of Congo. It’s not a long drive – around three hours – but with the flexibility to choose where and when you stop, you can spend as long as you like taking photographs or just revelling in the scenery before arriving at Cormoran Lodge, overlooking the lake.

Cormoran Lodge
DAYS 7-9

Cormoran Lodge

2 NIGHTS

FULL BOARDLAKE KIVU, RWANDA

Set on a steep hill, leading down to the shore of Rwanda’s Lake Kivu, the rustic yet stylish Cormoran Lodge in Kibuye has a small number of wooden cabins, each affording beautiful views over the lake.

DAY 9

Lake Kivu to Volcanoes NP by private 4WD

This morning you’ll drive north, leaving the lake behind, the increasingly hilly terrain culminating after around four hours in the foothills of Volcanoes National Park, and Mountain Gorilla View Lodge. On the way, you’ll pass a number of tea or coffee plantations interspersed by the occasional village, so if you’d like to stop to explore, or perhaps look round the Museum of the Environment near Kibuye, have a chat with your guide; the choice is yours.

Mountain Gorilla View Lodge
DAYS 9-13

Mountain Gorilla View

4 NIGHTS

FULL BOARDVOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK, RWANDA

Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, previously called Gorilla Mountain View Lodge, is located on the slopes of Rwanda’s Mount Sabyinyo. A good mid-range hotel set in spacious grounds, it has beautiful views of the surrounding volcanoes and is only a 15-minute drive from the headquarters of Volcanoes National Park, which is the starting point for gorilla trekking.

Golden Monkey Trekking
DAY 10

Golden Monkey Trekking

Spend a morning trekking to find the golden monkeys in the Volcanoes National Park. These endangered monkeys are endemic to the Albertine Rift area and, as the name would suggest, are characterised by their golden-orange fur. You’ll be able to enjoy an hour watching them jump through the bamboo forests and hunker to chew thistles, curiously watching you, as you watch them.

Gorilla Trekking Safari
DAY 11

Gorilla Trekking Safari

Look into the eyes of a large silverback gorilla and he’ll look back with a thoughtful, intelligent gaze, mindful that you’re another individual. Any apprehensions or nerves you might have had during your trek will melt away the minute you see your gorilla family. Gorilla trekking safaris offer a magical encounter that transcends any other “wildlife” experience we know.

The Virunga Mountains that straddle the borders of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo are home to around 480 mountain gorillas, more than half of the world’s entire population (the rest live in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda). In Volcanoes National Park, the Rwandan part of the Virungas, twelve gorilla family groups are now habituated for gorilla safaris, more than anywhere else in the world.

Whilst a gorilla trekking safari is likely to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for you, the staff at Volcanoes National Park have been doing this for several years and run a very smooth operation. Gorilla trekking safaris offer a magical encounter that transcends any other “wildlife” experience we know.

Gorilla Trekking Safari
DAY 12

Gorilla Trekking Safari

Look into the eyes of a large silverback gorilla and he’ll look back with a thoughtful, intelligent gaze, mindful that you’re another individual. Any apprehensions or nerves you might have had during your trek will melt away the minute you see your gorilla family. Gorilla trekking safaris offer a magical encounter that transcends any other “wildlife” experience we know.

The Virunga Mountains that straddle the borders of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo are home to around 480 mountain gorillas, more than half of the world’s entire population (the rest live in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda). In Volcanoes National Park, the Rwandan part of the Virungas, twelve gorilla family groups are now habituated for gorilla safaris, more than anywhere else in the world.

Whilst a gorilla trekking safari is likely to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for you, the staff at Volcanoes National Park have been doing this for several years and run a very smooth operation. Gorilla trekking safaris offer a magical encounter that transcends any other “wildlife” experience we know.

DAY 13

Volcanoes National Park to Kigali by road

On leaving Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, the drive back to Kigali Airport takes you through the fertile, rolling hills of western Rwanda. It’s a fascinating journey of around four hours, depending on any stops you make en route (do ask your guide about the options) before arriving in time for you to make your onward connections.

DAY 13

Ends: Kigali International Airport