IS THE ECO RWANDA ADVENTURE RIGHT FOR ME?
YES IF YOU WANT TO…
Explore dramatic landscapes and mountains and see for yourself why Rwanda is called The Land of 1000 Hills.
See endangered primates in their natural habitat including mountain gorillas, golden monkeys, chimpanzees and colobus monkeys.
Gain insight into Rwandan culture and be inspired by how Rwandans learned to coexist peacefully after the genocide.
Make a difference to both the Rwandan people and Rwanda’s wildlife. A large portion your gorilla trekking permit goes back to the local community and is used for gorilla conservation efforts.
Know that your visit will benefit primates long after your visit through our wildlife conservation tips that you can do from anywhere in the world.
Rwanda’s dramatic natural mountain setting offers one of the most memorable wildlife settings in the world. In the heart of East Africa, landlocked Rwanda is a vibrant country with extraordinary parks and welcoming people. Home to a variety of wildlife, Rwanda’s parks serve as an ideal destination for observing wildlife and particularly for primate spotting. Thousands are drawn to Rwanda for the chance of a lifetime to observe mountain gorillas in the wild.
There are only an estimated 780 mountain gorillas remaining and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda is home to one-third of them. Your visit has a direct positive impact on both Rwandans and the gorillas.
In addition, you’ll also visit Nyungwe Forest. This little-known forest is home to 13 species of primates and 25% of all primate species in Africa. You’ll have the chance to observe colobus monkeys and chimpanzees up-close and while hiking through this incredible park.
You’ll also discover Rwanda’s rich culture and learn the true reality of the genocide and how Rwandans have been able to make a remarkable recovery and live peacefully side by side each other. It’s incredibly powerful to see how resilient Rwandans are and how they’ve overcome unthinkable atrocities. You’ll leave in total awe of Rwandans and maybe even become inspired to make your own positive impact on the world.
This is a private trip which can be done with as few as two people. Therefore we can customize it to best meet your needs and interests. See something you want more of? Let us know and we’ll add it in. The same goes if you see something that doesn’t grab your interest.
You’ll arrive at Kigali Airport, Rwanda. You’ll be met by your guide at the airport and transferred to your hotel in Kigali The rest of the day is yours at leisure and to rest after your flight.
Kigali to Nyanza to Nyungwe Forest
You’ll have an early breakfast at your hotel. Then depart and drive southwards in Rwanda, to the historical towns of Nyanza for a short tour of their attractions including the Traditional King’s Palace Museum for an introduction to Rwanda’s rich culture and its people.
You’ll enjoy an early lunch in Butare. Then you’ll continue on your journey further south and then west until you reach the Nyungwe Forest. You’ll arrive at your hotel in Nyungwe hotel in the late afternoon. The evening is at your leisure with dinner in your hotel.
You’ll have an early breakfast at your hotel with the option of taking a picnic breakfast. Then it’s time for either trekking to see Chimpanzees or observing Colobus monkeys – your choice. You’ll head back to your hotel for lunch and then into the forest again for an incredible Canopy Adventure Hike. You have the evening at leisure with dinner at your hotel.
Nyungwe Forest to Lake Kivu
You’ll have an early breakfast at your hotel followed by either an amazing Water Falls Hike or the opportunity to observe colobus monkeys – your choice.
You’ll have lunch at the hotel if you choose the waterfall option or a packed lunch if you choose to observe Colobus monkeys. After lunch, you’ll depart from Nyungwe Forest and take the scenic drive along the shores of Lake Kivu to the town of Kibuye. You’ll arrive in Kibuye in the mid-afternoon. The rest of the afternoon and evening is at leisure at your hotel, with dinner.
Continue to Volcanoes National Park
You’ll have breakfast at your hotel followed by a 2-hour boat excursion on Lake Kivu, that includes a visit to Napoleon Island (Bat Island – residence of a large colony of bats). Then you’ll have an early lunch at your hotel before departing. Your journey eastwards and then north-east towards the Volcanoes Mountains region. You’ll have the evening at leisure, with dinner.
Volcanoes National Park
You’ll have an early breakfast at your hotel and then at 6:45 you’ll be transferred to the park headquarters for the Gorilla Trek registration and find out which gorilla family you’ll be visiting. Once each trekker is put into a group, Lead Guide gives you a short briefing along with the “do’s and don’ts” when you observe the gorillas.
After the briefing, trekkers return to their respective vehicles for the drive up the mountain to the trailhead where you’ll start hiking.
Now it’s time for the Ultimate Experience – Gorilla Trekking! You’ll trek anywhere from 15 minutes to several hours depending on the gorilla troup that you’ll be observing.
At the end of the trek, you’ll rejoin your driver-guide and transfer back to your hotel for freshening up and lunch. After lunch, you’ll visit the Musanze Caves. You have the evening at leisure at your hotel, with dinner included.
Volcanoes National Park
Today you will enjoy a unique cultural experience with a visit to the I’bywachu Village.This name means the way we do/our way of living. But before that, you can start the day observing golden monkeys if you like.
This village is a Community-based tourism Initiative aimed at ensuring that the local communities receive a direct benefit from tourism, thereby linking the villagers with conservation. This helps to stop poaching and ensures the protection of the gorillas.
During the village visit, you will participate in the daily traditional activities of the villagers and get a firsthand experience of a day in the life of a rural Rwandan. You’ll learn how to light a traditional fire, shoot traditional arrows, grind millet on the traditional stone grinders, make traditional banana beer, meet the traditional medicine man, visit the traditional Kings homestead and watch the mothers and their traditional ways of teaching their young children. You’ll spend the night at the village.
Optional: Extend your visit with further hiking in Volcanoes National Park.
Drive back to Kigali
You’ll have breakfast at your hotel, followed by check-out. Then you’ll drive down the foothills of the Volcanoes Mountains – on the scenic but winding road and through the beautiful, rolling hills and back to Kigali. You’ll have lunch in Kigali followed by an afternoon panoramic city tour and a visit to the Genocide Museum. Overnight with dinner in Kigali.
You’ll transfer to the Airport in time for your departure flight. You may be living the Land of One Thousand Hills but it will remain forever in your heart.
The earlier the better as the permits are sold on first come basis.
9 – day tour, 4-star accommodation starting from €6399 (including the $1500 gorilla permit)
Easy to challenging. As this is a customized tour we can choose hikes that are suitable for your fitness level. When you visit the gorillas you’ll have a choice of how far to hike. It can vary from 15 minutes to 6 hours depending on where the gorillas are.
You’ll travel in a 4 wheel drive customized Safari Land Cruiser with a guaranteed window seat for each passenger.
Your tour starts and ends in Kigali. You’ll visit Nyanza Town, Nyungwe Forest, Lake Kivu and Volcanoes National Park. We’ll pick you and up and drop you off at Kigali International Airport.
What to Bring
We’ll provide you with a packing list before your trip.
It’s highly recommended that you have travel insurance that covers you for this tour. We recommend World Nomads insurance.
50% is due at the time of booking, 30% 60 days in advance and the remaining payment is due 45 days before the trip start date.
All accommodation as per program
Meals as per program
Airport transfers on arrival and departure unless otherwise specified
Transportation in a safari vehicle.
Internal flights in Rwanda if included as part of the program
All Excursion entrance fees for activities that are part of the program
All Park Entrance Fees
Local Safari Guide Allowance
Bottled water (2 litres per person per day) while on safari
Gratuity for the Safari Driver Guide
Porterage for hotels
Chimpanzee, Golden and Colobus monkey permits
Cost of any optional activities
Cost of any deviation from the confirmed program
Personal travel insurance
Entry visa to Rwanda
Items of a personal nature
International flights to/from Rwanda
Cost of the required medical vaccinations
It’s your responsibility to check the official visa requirements for your nationality and to ensure that you hold a valid passport. Your passport should have at least one blank page and be valid for a minimum of six months from the last day that you’ll be leaving Rwanda.
Most nationalities are required to obtain an e-Visa online before departure. You can find more information here: https://www.migration.gov.rw/our_services/visa/tourist_visa.
The recommended amount is US$ 10.00 per person per day in line with the Professional & Safari Guides Association guidelines.
Arriving by Air
You’ll fly into Kigali International Airport. I find the best deals on Skyscanner and book most of my flights through them.
We’ll pick you up and drop you off at the airport for your convenience.
Transportation on the Tour
You’ll be driven in a 4-wheel drive customized Safari Land Cruiser that seats either 5 or 7 passengers. Each passenger will have a window seat.
Click on the Why Us tab to find out why we offer this tour. We also encourage you to check out our reviews. It’s important that you feel comfortable booking with us.
When is the best time of year to visit Rwanda?
Year Round but the busiest months are Jan, Feb March, July, Aug, Sept, Oct & Dec.
What’s the weather like in Rwanda?
There are two seasons in Rwanda. The dry season mid – May to September and mid-December to mid-March. The rainy season is from mid-March to mid-May. It’s still possible to travel during this time as long as you don’t mind the rain.
I’m a solo traveller. Can I still do this trip?
Yes, but a single supplement will apply.
Will other people be on my tour?
No. This is a private tour. You will only be travelling with the people you book with.
Can I make this tour shorter or longer?
Yes. You can shorten this tour down to 4 nights/5 days or extend it as long as you would like. Just let us know.
What if I want to change something on this tour?
No problem. Just let us know what you’d like to change when you book and we’ll happily make the change for you. Note:changes can only be made at the time of booking.
How long does it take for you to confirm all my accommodation so that I can book my flights?
We require 3-5 days. Please, hold off booking your flight until we can confirm that a gorilla permit and accommodations are available.
I really want to come face to face with gorillas. Will I be able to see them on this trip?
Yes, you have a 99% chance of seeing the gorillas on your gorilla trek. There are ten groups and groups of up to eight people can spend one hour with one of the gorilla troops.
What else do I need to know about trekking with gorillas?
The Rwanda Development Board reserves the right to refuse to let anyone on the Gorilla Trek showing signs of illness. Any sick visitor shall not be allowed to track the gorillas if declared unfit by the Warden in Charge and shall receive a 50% discount.This only applies to visitors who have travelled all the way to the park. If you cancel in advance you won’t be issued a refund. This is due to the fact that gorillas can catch many of the same illnesses that we have. You can find further information from Rwanda Tourism: http://www.rwandatourism.com/things-to-do/gorilla-tracking. This is another reason that we highly recommend purchasing travel insurance in advance.
How much do the primate permits costs?
Gorilla Permit – $1500 USD, Chimpanzee trek $90.00 USD, Colobus viewing $60.00 USD, Golden monkey viewing: $100 USD. Prices given are per person and per trek and are set by the Rwanda Development Board (not us). Note: Your tour includes Gorilla permits.
What type of food will I eating and what if I have a food allergy or preference, i.e. vegetarian or vegan?
We accommodate all diet types & restrictions – with advance notice. The accommodation facilities will provide accordingly based on the availability of the required food items or provide the next best alternative.
You’ll be eating IInternational Cuisine in the Hotels, Lodges & Camps. Rwandan food is only served during theme nights and at theme restaurant or at the cultural villages as a tasting experience.
Will I be able to get a guide in my own language?
The Main language is English. Subject to availability and with advance notice preferably at the time of booking we can provide French-speaking guides.
Is water provided on the tour?
Yes, bottled water 2 litres per person per day while on safari and complimentary 2 x half litre bottles inside the rooms per day.
Is this tour suitable for children?
The Gorilla Trek is only permitted for children 16 years and older.
Laurel, the founder of Monkeys and Mountains visit to Rwanda was one of the most memorable trips she’s ever had. She has a Bachelor of Science in Primatology and studied and worked with Western Lowland Gorillas at the Calgary Zoo in Canada. It was an unbelievably special experience to observe mountain gorillas in their wild habitat.
She’ll never forget when a mother gorillas with her baby on her back ever so gently touched her leg with her hand so that she could pass by. It gives her shivers just thinking about it. You can read about her experience with the gorillas here.
Observing the gorillas exceeded my sky-high expectations. While it doesn’t come cheap, it’s worth every penny. It’s truly a once in a lifetime opportunity. A portion of your fee goes toward much-needed gorilla conservation and to the local communities. If locals see the benefit, they’re much more likely to play an active role in gorilla conservation.
While she was really looking forward to observing mountain gorillas, she didn’t know what to expect from Nyungwe Park as she hadn’t heard of it before. She was surprised to learn that it’s home to 13 species of primates – 25% of all the primate species found in Africa. It’s an incredible place to observe wildlife and birds while going for a hike.
Finally, she left in complete awe of Rwandans. They’ve overcome so much after the genocide and have done so without bitterness. She left realizing that she has so much to learn from them.
As much of this tour has a primate focus (although we can customize that if it’s too much) it’s one of her absolute favourites. She left Rwanda vowing to make a positive contribution to primate conservation. By participating in this tour, you’re helping to achieve that.
There can be a lot of anxiety when booking a trip to an unknown destination; Will anyone speak English? How do I figure out all the logistics? How do I make the most of my limited time with the gorillas? Where are the best places to visit? Is it safe to visit?
Our goal is to make your custom tour of Rwanda one of your most memorable vacations ever.
By booking with us you’ll get:
Unlimited email support. Ask all the questions you need to
A real insight into the primates, people, and culture of Rwanda
Fun facts about the primates you’ll be visiting to help make the most from your primate encounters
Photography tips to help you capture the best photos of gorillas and other primates
Assurance that your visit is having a positive impact on both locals and the primates that you’ll be visiting
Tips on how to positively contribute to primate conservation after your tour is over that you can do from anywhere in the world