11 Day Rwanda Culture & Gorilla Tour, will take you to the Rwanda cultural sites and then take you the Volcanoes National Park where you will experience the gorilla trekking tours and staying in most Eco – friendly safari lodges and camps.
Day1: Kigali Arrival
Upon arrival at the Kigali International Airport, meet our driver/guides and after you will be transferred to the hotel for your overnight stay at Mille Collines Hotel Kigali. Meal plan: (Breakfast)
Day2: Kigali City Tour – Huye – Former Butare
Have breakfast, after embark the safari jeep and take the Kigali city tour visiting the Kigali genocide memorial and then have lunch. Transfer to Huye and on your way from Kigali; you will visit Nyabisindu the former Mwami’s palace (King’s palace) and the seat of the feudal monarchy. The palace has been reconstructed to its 19th century state and shows a traditional dome that can be compared with the Kabaka’s palace of Buganda. Dinner and overnight at Ibis Hotel Butare. Meal plan: Lunch & Dinner
Day3: Cultural Tour in Huye
Have breakfast and explore Huye (Butare) the second largest city of Rwanda considered as the intellectual city of the country. It hosts the National Museum, several academic (University) and research institutions. Visit the National Museum which is one of the well set-up if not the finest ethnographic museum of East Africa. It’s a good source of information on the cultural history of Rwanda and the region. The modern building has different sections and displays a wide collection of monochrome pictures, traditional artifacts and objects, tools and different craft products. Traditional ceramics and baskets (handicrafts) are manufactured and can be bought as souvenirs. After the visit of the museum you will have a spectacular performance of the national ballet 01 hour with the Intore dancers. The performance is regarded by many as one of the highlights of your safari. Rwanda has one of the finest traditional handicrafts of Africa. The ceramics, woodcarvings and basketry are found in Butare and your guide will indicate where to buy them.
The “Intore”, once the elite of the traditional Rwanda army, were not only trained as military but also in high jump and dance. They were known for their remarkable technique allowing them to jump over 2m40. The Intore became worldwide famous as dancers in 1958 when the World Expo was held in Brussels. Today Intore dancers are part of the rich Rwanda folklore. The warriors dance is a jewel of the choreographic heritage of Rwanda. Dressed with a mane made of sisal fibre, tied up on ankles, little bells jingle on each step, giving the warriors dance a thrilling rhythm.Throughout the Intore ballet, physical confrontation turns into artistic rivalry and then at “the end” comes out into a vigorous hug of the warriors. This is the most artistic gesture of friendship, mutual aid and protection.
The National Museum in Butare was donated in 1989 by the Belgium government and gave back a part of the ethnographic collection acquired during the colonial period. The design and concept of the museum was realized in co-operation with the Royal Museum for Central Africa of Tervuren, Belgium. The modern building has different sections and displays a wide collection of monochrome pictures, traditional artefacts and objects, tools and different craft products. Ethnographic objects are grouped together according to theme giving excellent information on the daily life. Traditional ceramics and basketry are still manufactured and belong to the finest handicrafts of the region. The National Museum remained surprisingly untouched during the civil war in 1994.
Day4: Excursion Huye
Have breakfast, after visit the Huye Mountain Coffee Company that run a pretty great little coffee tour that will give you the low-down on coffee production in Rwanda. Rwanda has some seriously good beans and they don’t have to travel far to find their way into your cup which means they’re about as fresh as they can get! Visit to women association group in Huye enjoying and participating some of the women community based tourism activities. Evening take a walk around Huye and experiencing the life of the local communities. Dinner and overnight stay at Ibis Hotel Huye, Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day5: Excursion to Nyungwe Forest National Park
Have breakfast and after transfer to Nyungwe Forest National Park with en-route tea plantation green cover view and on your arrival take a canopy walk that offers an opportunity of clear view of various tree canopies. Lunch, after transfer to Kibuye for the dinner and overnight stay at Cormoron Lodge Kibuye. Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day6: Kibuye Town
Have breakfast and visit the Bisesero Genocide Memorial with breathtaking views of the lake, and here Rwandans stood and resisted the genocide, visit Congo Nile Parish Catholic Church Rutsiro (where the first bishop was based). Lake Kivu provides a great scene for visitors and you can take a boat ride along the lake to enjoy the great scene as well as a cool breeze. Overnight stay at Cormoron Lodge Kibuye, Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day7: Kibuye – Gisenyi Beach Holiday
Today after breakfast, embark the safari jeep and take a lovely drive to the Gisenyi Beach Holiday and here visit the Dancing Pots operated by the New Dawn Associates. The Dancing Pots experience is designed to give visitors the opportunity to interact with the inhabitants of the forwarding – looking Batwa settlement. The Batwa harnessed traditional skills such as pottery and performing arts to make a leaving and become integrated into the greater community. A visit incorporates traditional dance performances, pottery and the opportunity to talk about the Batwa traditions and lifestyle. Evening go take the local boat cruise along the Lake Kivu visiting the Hot Springs in Gisenyi, Rubona Peninsula with en-route view of the undulating landscapes of Rwanda. Lunch at Lake Kivu Serena Hotel; enjoy the swimming as you wait for dinner and overnight stay at Paradise Malahinde Hotel. Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day8: Gisenyi Beach Holiday – Ruhengeri – Volcanoes National Park
Have breakfast and after embark the safari vehicle transfer to Ruhengeri with en-route visit to the Imbabazi Orphanage Center that is not far from Gisenyi that is a positive and heartwarming project started in December 1994 by Rosamond Halsey Carr at her plantation in nearby Mugongo to shelter some of the many genocide orphans and displaced children and from here you will experience scenic view of volcanoes and Lake Kivu, then enjoy the Rwanda cultural performances and lunch. After transfer to Ruhengeri and overnight stay at Laplame Hotel. Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day9: Volcanoes Gorilla Trekking
After briefing from the senior park ranger you will commence your memorable gorilla trekking which normally takes 2 to 6 hours in the jungle. You will be allowed to stay in the presence of the gorillas for a maximum of 1 full hour. Later return to your Hotel for Relaxation. Dinner and overnight as above, Meal plan: (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
The parking list for Rwanda Gorilla Trekking include the healthy documents, walkable shoes, rain gears, sun screen, insect repellent, hut, Yellow Fever Vaccination Card among others.
Day10: Iby’wacu Cultural Village
Have breakfast and after transfer to the Iby’wacu Cultural Village for a full day experience Rwanda cultural kingdom history, visit local communities. Lunch and here you will be supplied with typically Rwanda local foods. Evening cultural performances from once the gorilla hunters and now the Eco – warriors. Dinner and overnight at Iby’wacu Cultural Village Local Huts. Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day11: Ruhengeri – Kigali – Departure
Have the morning breakfast and after drive back to Kigali with lunch en-route and later visiting some cultural and genocide sites, visit some craft shop villages like Caplaki craft village in Kigali, for souvenir’s shopping and after in the evening the guide will drop you to the airport for your return flight! End of services
The package includes:
Accommodation and meals as per itinerary
Visit the Huye Coffee Company
Visit Museums and genocide memorials
Gorilla permits, $ 750 USD, each
Canopy walks, $ 60 USD, each
Boat rides at Lake Kivu
Visit Hot springs
Full day English speaking guide fees
Visit to orphanage centers
Iby’wacu cultural performances
The air fares, Visa, porter fees while trekking the gorillas, laundry, expensive drinks, and other activities not mentioned in the itinerary.
What to wear/bring
Dress codes are informal. Daytime temperatures are generally warm, so bring lots of light clothing, supplemented by light sweaters for the cool evenings and heavier clothing for the higher altitudes especially volcanoes. When tracking gorillas layering your clothing is the best idea and we suggest: long sleeved shirts, cotton or gore tex trousers, strong walking shoes with ankle support, socks that you can tuck your trousers into, light gloves to protect your hands from thorns and nettles, a hat and sunglasses to provide protection against the sun and a waterproof jacket in neutral colors may come in handy in the moist mountains. Travel light and remember that soft-sided luggage is required. One medium sized duffel bag and one small day pack (carry-on) per person should be adequate. Laundry services are available at most accommodations. You should also pack some zip lock bags for spare clothing, cameras, binoculars and film. Please note that you are not allowed to use a flash when photographing Gorillas. It is a good idea to take along several different speeds of film (64 to 1000) as gorillas can be found in open sun or in the dark underbrush of the forest.