Join us on the Highlights of Rwanda Tour!
13 Days, 12 Nights
This 13-day trip combines the best of Rwanda! Known as the Land of 1,000 hills, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to experience the stunning natural beauty this country offers. Your journey will take you to Akagera National Park, where you’ll have the chance to see incredible wildlife, including the big five. You’ll immerse yourself in nature in Nyungwe National Park as well as search for golden monkeys in Volcanoes National Park.
Rwandan people are incredibly warm and welcoming, and this experience will give you the chance to interact with them and learn more about their way of life. You’ll visit the King’s Palace museum and learn more about the traditional Rwandan culture. You’ll head to a tea plantation and see all steps of the production process. You’ll also have the chance to visit community projects and activities and witness daily life.
This trip will leave you with a well-rounded picture of this incredible country. Our itineraries are entirely customizable to meet your travel style, needs, and interests. Let’s explore Rwanda together!
Welcome to Rwanda! Upon arrival at Kigali International Airport, you’ll be met by an Off Season Adventures representative and escorted to your hotel. Your first moments in this country will give you a clear picture of why Rwanda is known as the land of a thousand hills. After a brief introduction by your guide about the trip ahead, the rest of the day is at your leisure to relax at your hotel, visit a local market, or wander the beautiful streets of Kigali.
After breakfast, you’ll embark on a tour of Kigali City that will take you on a journey starting in colonial times, making your way through the time when Rwanda gained independence as well as the dark history of the genocide and what happened after. You’ll explore the old and new sections and see the contrasts between the two. You’ll also have the opportunity to visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial Site, where over 250,000 victims are laid to rest in mass graves. The museum is somber and informative and leads you through the events of this horrific time and how Rwanda came together as a country. After a full day of exploring, you’ll head back to your hotel to rest and enjoy dinner.
This morning you’ll head out on a cultural excursion to the hillside of Muhanga. You’ll interact with the local people and learn more about their daily activities like basket weaving, candle dipping, beehive making, and traditional cooking. Enjoy an authentic meal with them before beginning your journey to Butare. Along the way, you’ll stop at the King’s Palace Museum to learn more about Rwandan history. The place is a replica of the King’s residence, and a visit here will transport you to that time. You’ll also have the chance to interact with the Inyambo cattle with their long horns and intricate decorations. They are said to be descendants of the King’s original herd. After your visit, you’ll continue to Butare, where you’ll have dinner and stay the night.
Today you’ll begin with a visit to the Ethnographic Museum, where you’ll take an even deeper dive into Rwanda’s history. It will take you through the kingdoms through colonial times and beyond. Enjoy lunch before traveling to Nyungwe National Park. The drive is incredibly scenic as you make your way past rolling hills and lush landscapes. Upon arrival at the park, you’ll take part in the Canopy Walk experience. Your guide will take you on a nature walk through the forest, where you’ll have the opportunity to view beautiful flora and fauna as well as a few primate species. The highlight of the excursion is the chance to cross three metal suspension bridges 70 meters above the forest floor. It provides unparalleled views of the park and is bound to be a thrilling experience. Tonight you’ll have dinner at your lodge and the chance to rest after a busy day.
Start today early with a strong cup of African coffee before heading back to the park for chimpanzee trekking. Nyungwe Forest is home to 13 species of primates, including the chimps. After a briefing at park headquarters, you’ll embark on your journey to find them. Appreciate every moment with them because you only have an hour to observe these wonderful creatures. After your experience, you’ll enjoy lunch before visiting the Gisakura Tea Plantation. You’ll walk through all the tea-making process steps starting with interacting with farmers and people picking tea in the field. You’ll then head to the factory, where a tea expert will take you through each process, including quality control, where you’ll have the opportunity to taste the finished product. This evening will be at your leisure to have dinner and relax at your hotel.
On this day, you’ll journey to Gisenyi along the Congo-Nile river trail route. The river separates Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo and has stunning views of Lake Kivu and the surrounding area. Along the way, you’ll also have the chance to participate in a coffee tour. The climate and soil in Rwanda are ideal for coffee growing, and recently the industry has produced some of the highest quality coffee in the world. This afternoon you’ll head out searching for the Isambaza (similar to a sardine) on a fishing excursion with local fishers in the area. You’ll learn about the traditional fishing practices and journey out with them on an expedition.
After breakfast, you’ll visit the community projects at Atelier de Poupees. Here you will meet the women who make crafts such as baskets and beads. You’ll be able to interact with them, learn how to weave, and gain insight into their daily lives. Next, you’ll enjoy a local lunch before heading to the Madam Rose Carr House Museum. The location is a tribute to Rose Carr and her life and the positive impact she made while living in Rwanda. In the afternoon, you’ll continue your journey to Volcanoes National Park, where you’ll have dinner and spend the night.
Today you’ll begin with a nature walk through the Buhanga Eco Park. It is a sacred forest where former Kings performed initiation rituals and ceremonies, many of which you’ll see along the way. The walk meanders through the tall trees and will give you glimpses of the many birds that reside here as well as the colorful butterflies. After lunch, you’ll head out on a canoe ride across the twin lakes of Bulera and Ruhondo at the base of Mount Muhabura. The trip will provide stunning views of the surrounding volcanoes and many opportunities to view the water birds near the lake. This evening you’ll have dinner at your hotel and time to relax from the day.
This morning, after breakfast, you’ll embark on an exciting trekking adventure to find golden monkeys! Your guide will take you to Volcanoes National Park headquarters for a briefing about them and the experience ahead. You’ll then head into the forest to search out these shy yet energetic little creatures. Once you find them, you can observe them eating, swinging between trees, and going about their daily lives for an hour, so make the most of your time. You’ll head back to your lodge for lunch and to freshen up before visiting the Ibyi’wacu Cultural Village. Operated by former poachers, this experience will take you through different aspects of Rwandan culture and traditions. You’ll learn how to shoot an arrow, participate in traditional dances, and even try some tasty banana beer!
On this day, you’ll make your way east to Akagera National Park, the largest protected wetland in Africa. It was founded in 1934 and is named for the river that flows on the eastern boundary. The numerous water sources and varied landscapes create stunning scenery. The drive is incredibly scenic, making your way through winding hills, local farms, and charming villages. Upon arrival, you’ll have the afternoon to relax at your lodge and prepare for an exciting night game drive. This experience will last about two hours and is done with a spotlight so you can see animals as they make their way through the park at night. It is a great time to view nocturnal animals and predators as they look for food. You’ll head back to your lodge for dinner and to spend the night.
After breakfast, you’ll embark on a full day of game drives. You’ll begin at headquarters, where you’ll receive a short briefing about the day ahead. As you make your way through the park, keep your eyes peeled for the abundance of wildlife found here, including the big five. After lunch back at the lodge, you’ll take a boat trip on Lake Ihema. The trip provides a different game viewing experience. You can observe animals like Nile crocodiles, hippos, elephants, and numerous bird species as they come to drink water at the lake. The trip is also incredibly scenic and peaceful. You’ll return to your lodge for dinner.
Early this morning, you’ll head out on a morning game drive in the park. You can expect to see antelopes, giraffes, monkeys, lions, elephants, and so much more. You’ll enjoy a picnic lunch in the park surrounded by the beautiful scenery before heading back to Kigali. The afternoon and evening will be at your leisure to relax or explore the city.
Today brings your Rwandan journey to an end! Depending on your flight time, you may have time to go on a city tour or visit the Nyamirambo Women’s Centre. Your guide will take you to the airport for your onward journey. If you haven’t had enough of this wonderful country, ask us for ways to extend your trip!
- Breakfast at your hotel
- Visit the Nyamirambo Women’s Centre
- Transfer to the airport for your flight homne
We are happy to customize additional day excursions before or after this tour if you want to get more out of your journey. Possible additions include gorilla trekking, Lake Kivu, hiking in Volcanoes National Park, and so much more!
- Your local, experienced driver with many years of guiding tours in Rwanda
- Lodging in Rwanda on a full room and board basis
- Entrance fees for all National Parks and Conservation Areas
- Golden Monkey & Chimpanzee Trekking Permits
- Ranger guides for Golden Monkey & Chimpanzee Trekking
- All cultural activities and excursions on the itinerary
- Contribution to the Kakoi Water Project through the 501(c)(3) organization Second Look Worldwide
- Beverages while in transit, excluding while in the airports
- Driver transfers to and from airports
- Wire Transfer and other banking fees
What’s Not Included?
- International flights to & from Tanzania
- Tips for your drivers, tour guides, and lodges, highly encouraged
- Alcoholic beverages
- Traveler’s Insurance, required
- Souvenirs and gifts
- Baggage weight overages, if applicable
- Any incidental expenses
- Anything from room service or the hotel minibar
- Any visas required for entry into Rwanda
- Any Covid-19 tests required for entry into Rwanda
Ubumwe Grande Hotel: 3 nights, Bed & Breakfast Basis
Centre d’Accueil Mater Boin Consilli: 1 night, Full Room & Board Basis
Emeraude Kivu Resort: 2 nights, Full Room & Board Basis
Paradise Kivu: 1 night, Full Room & Board Basis
Ingagi Parkview Lodge: 3 nights, Full Room & Board Basis
Akagera Game Lodge: 2 nights, Full Room & Board Basis