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4 Days Wildlife and Gorilla Safari in Rwanda

  • Akagera National Park - Volcanoes National Park

Overview

Wildlife Safari Rwanda

The safari will take you to Akagera National Park for a game drive, to Lake Ihema for a canoe ride to see the water animals and birds, to Volcanoes National Park for gorilla trekking, and to the memorial sites in city of Kigali. Akagera National Park has exceptional levels of biodiversity and forms the largest protected wetland in central Africa. The Volcanoes National Park is a central location for exploring some distinctly Rwandan experiences, it also provides thrilling hikes to see the monkeys.

Highlights

  • Kigali city tour
  • Gorilla tracking trip
  • Boat cruise in Lake Ihema
  • Guided game drives in Akagera National Park
  • Visit to the twin lakes of Ruhondo and Burera
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • 3 nights accommodation
  • Airport transfers

Group sizes

The maximum participants in the group is 8.

  • 4 activity days
  • English
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Day 1

You will be met at Kigali International Airport (KGL) by your safari guide and driver who will transfer you to Akagera National Park, arriving in the early afternoon. Later after your arrival, you will start the long awaited Akagera wildlife safari. You will have lunch and later go for a boat launch on the beautiful Lake Ihema to see hippos, giant crocodiles, and a profusion of water birds like the African fish eagle, papyrus gonolek, and the shoebill stork.

You will have dinner and overnight at Step Cape motel.

Day 2

You will have an early breakfast and the Akagera wildlife safari continues with setting off for a game drive to catch up with the early risers and large predators including lions, hyenas, bushbuck, zebra, elephants, giraffes, buffaloes, cape elands, impalas, oribi, and antelopes.

You will return for lunch at the lodge and then travel to Ruhengeri town near the Volcanoes National Park. You will have a tour of this town and also visit the vibrant local markets before retiring to your lodge for dinner and overnight.

Day 3

You will have an early breakfast and move to the park headquarters where you will receive a briefing on the rules of gorilla trekking and be allocated the gorilla group you will be tracking. After the briefing, you will be led by the ranger guides into the forest to search for the gorillas in the Volcano Virunga Hills and the verdant valley. Once traced you will spend a maximum of one hour observing the gorillas in their natural setting.

You will return to your lodge for lunch and later visit the twin lakes of Ruhondo and Burera in the late afternoon for a cultural experience. You will have dinner and overnight at your lodge of booking.

Day 4

After breakfast, you will travel back to Kigali. Depending on the time of your departure flight, you may have a brief Kigali city excursion to visit the genocide memorial site and the colorful markets for souvenirs before being transferred to the airport for your departure flight

A visit to the twin lakes of Ruhondo and Burera for a cultural experience and a boat launch in Lake Ihema, and a short tour of Kigali city before departure are included in the price.

Akagera National Park

Akagera National Park is located in the north east of Rwanda along the border with Tanzania. Although founded in 1934, much of the park was re-allocated as farms and in 1997, the park was reduced in size from more than 2,500 square kilometers (nearly 10% of the surface area of Rwanda) to its current extent of 1,122 square kilometers. Since 2010, a joint venture with African Parks has seen Akagera return to its former glories.

It is named after the Akagera River that flows along its eastern boundary and feeds into a labyrinth of lakes of which the largest is Lake Ihema. The forest fringed lakes, papyrus swamps, savanna plains, and rolling highlands combine to make Akagera among the most scenic of reserves anywhere in Africa. It has exceptional levels of biodiversity and forms the largest protected wetland in central Africa.

Akagera combines well with Nyungwe and the Volcanoes National Park to offer a great safari element as it is home to many large plains game species as well as species restricted to the papyrus swamps such as the Sitatunga and the sought-after shoebill stork.

Notable plains game include elephant, buffalo, topi, zebra, waterbuck, roan antelope, and eland. Other antelope are duiker, oribi, bohor reedbuck, klipspringer, bushbuck, and impala. Of the primates, olive baboons, vervets, and the secretive blue monkey are seen during the day, with bushbabies often seen on night drives.

Of the larger predators, only leopard, hyena, and side-striped jackal are still present and although lions once occurred throughout Akagera, the population was wiped. Plans are underway for the re-introduction of lions, as well as black rhinos in 2015, which will restore Akagera’s Big five status

Due to its wide variety of habitats, Akagera is an important ornithological site with nearly 500 bird species. The rare and elusive shoebill shares the papyrus with other rarities such as the exquisite papyrus gonolek and countless other water birds that inhabit the wetlands in large numbers.

Volcanoes National Park

The “Parc National de Volcans”, or PNV as it’s known by the locals, lies along the Virunga Mountains,with eight ancient volcanoes which are shared by Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Just a short two-hour drive from Rwanda’s capital of Kigali, the park is a central location for exploring some distinctly Rwandan experiences.

While a visit to the mountain gorillas is often at the top of visitor’s list, the dramatic landscape also offers thrilling hiking and visits to the fascinating golden monkeys. PNV is also one of Rwanda’s conservation epicenters, where many non-profit organizations base their operations. Visitors can pay homage to the legendary scientist and gorilla advocate, Dian Fossey, with a hike to her tomb or a visit to the Dian Fosse Gorilla Fund that continues her legacy of research and advocacy to this day.

Near the park, the bustling and vibrant markets of Musanze are a place to immerse yourself into everyday Rwandan culture. Go deep into the earth with Musanze’s caves - one of the area’s newest attractions.

You will be provided with daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner during this safari. Bottled drinking water on safari is also included in the price.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirements are served and/or catered for:

  • Other dietary requirements on request
  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
(If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation)
  • Capture photos of the wildlife
  • Enjoy the game drives
  • Explore the camp grounds
  • Meet and interact with the locals
  • Relax at the camp
  • See the stunning views
  • 3 nights accommodation
  • Airport transfers fro and to Kigali International Airport (KGL)
  • Boat launch in Lake Ihema
  • Bottled drinking water on safari
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Game drive in Akagera National Park
  • Gorilla permit
  • Gorilla tracking
  • Kigali small city tour before departure
  • Local guide fees
  • Park entrance fees
  • Transportation in a safari vehicle
  • Visit to the twin lakes of Ruhondo and Burera
  • Airfare
  • Beverages other than mineral water
  • Departure taxes
  • Excess luggage charges
  • Laundry
  • Optional excursions
  • Personal items
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Travel and medical insurance
  • Travel documents (visa)

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Kigali International Airport (KGL). Transfer from and to the airport is included. Saso Uganda Safaris will pick you up from the airport.

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 50% of the total price.
  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled up to 12 days before the arrival date.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 9 days before arrival.

Testimonials

  • Review by Emily from Manchester, United Kingdom

    "We went on a 3 day tour to Murchison Falls with Wilson, and he was a fantastic guide from start to finish. We were short of time to do everything we wanted to, but he made sure that the trip was arranged in the best possible way for us to visit everywhere we wished to. "

    "We had an incredible time tracking chimps, and rhinos and Wilson took us on some amazing game drives - working tirelessly to help us spot some rare creatures, and hugely knowledgeable about everything that we saw. Wilson was wonderful company, and he really made the trip special for us - by the end of the trip he felt like a friend as well as a guide. I'd hugely recommend taking a trip with this company."

    TripAdvisor, edited

  • Review by Joly Dee

    "My wife and I did a three day safari for our honeymoon "chimps and gorillas" with Michael as our guide. Michael was the perfect guide giving us as much information as we wanted, he was extremely knowledgeable and very friendly. He is by far the best guide we have had all across Africa. The places we stayed were first rate and the vehicle was reliable. Definitely recommend."

    TripAdvisor, edited

  • Review by A traveler from New York, USA

    "My wife and I did a 3-day safari of Murchison Falls NP with these folks. Nothing but the best memories of the entire trip. We could not be more satisfied."

    "Some of the highlights:"

    "- The owner, Wilson, is friendly and directly reachable on the phone. We have been swindled before, so I wanted to be extra-sure before committing to these folks. I went and met Wilson at his home in Kampala and he immediately put me at ease. They own and rent out several modern, clean vehicles in very good condition, and run safaris all the time."

    "- Our driver, Kassim - young, very helpful, observant, drives very well, great conversationalist with lots of interesting tidbits, sharp-eyed spotter in the park"

    "- The trip itself: we were very happy because Saso does not do the usual nickel-and-diming that is very prevalent in other economy safari companies, for example in Kenya. Also, in Murchison Falls NP itself, Kassim was very proactive in working the phones and as a result we got to hang out with 12 lionesses and lion cubs for almost an hour, watching them as they ate and played. This was only one of many sightings during the day."

    "- Itinerary: even though we made a few last-minute changes to the overall plan, Wilson and Kassim handled everything admirably and made sure we got where we wanted to go"

    "- Arrangements for food: I don't know if this is standard across all their safaris, but the food arrangements were all uniformly excellent. Further, Kassim took note of our dietary preferences and only took us to places where we would get good options All in all, a great safari. If you're looking for a good safari company in Uganda, look no further!"

    "Side note: something that caused me a bit of anxiety before the safari began was the fact that they have very few TA reviews, and all the reviewers have just 1 review! Unfounded anxiety, as it turned out. These guys are the real deal."

    TripAdvisor, edited

  • Review by A traveler

    "I highly recommend these guys, they've got good quality reliable safari vehicles. Kizza Ahmed who was our driver was very experienced, friendly and informative. Been on two safaris to Murchison Falls NP with Saso and look forward to many more."

    TripAdvisor, edited

  • Review by Danielle B

    "I really enjoyed my trip with Saso. I was travelling alone but that was not problem due to my friendly guide Kassim. He showed me a lot of animals in Queen Elisabeth NP (even the lions!), he has a lot of knowledge about Uganda, the animals and the culture and he was nice company during dinner! "

    "Saso made a good program for a travel of 5 days, it was never bored and the accomandations were very clean and luxury with good food. "

    TripAdvisor, edited

  • Review by Fulda from Germany

    "We had a great four day trip to Queen Elizabeth national park and Kibale. Thanks to Wilson and his team from Saso Uganda Safaris. The communication with Wilson during the organisation of the trip was great. The prices are good. The trip was well organised, we got to enjoy the wilderness of the national park and the nature in Kibale plus the Chimp. trekking was a great experience. well, when you book with Saso Uganda Safaris, you can never go wrong."

    "thanks Wilson and your team."

    TripAdvisor, edited

  • Review by Anna B

    "We were a couple of friends who went on a 5 day safari trip with Wilson. Everything was perfect. He knows a lot about the wildlife and the animals. He arranged everything after our needs and made sure we saw everything in our interest. The gorilla trip and queen Elizabeth nationalpark were fantastic experiences. We also visited the chimpanzees in Kibale nationalpark. The accommodation was very nice. We couldn't have had a better guide. Thank you Wilson!"

    TripAdvisor, edited

  • Review by Eli

    "What a fantastic trip with Saso Uganda Safaris! We went on a five-day tour visiting the gorillas in Bwindi, game drives in queen Queen Elizabeth National Park and chimpanzee and primate safaris in Kibale. Wilson had arranged everything to perfection. He had arranged excellent hotels, the best guides in the parks, and good lunch places. When the guide on the chimpanzee tour was about to give up on seeing chimpanzees on the ground, Wilson encouraged him to continue and make an effort so that we could see them (which we did). He was so flexible and easy going. He drove very safely in the chaotic Ugandan traffic. We felt safe all the time. If I’m ever going back to Uganda, I would absolutely go on another trip with Saso and I will definitely recommend it to my friends. Maybe it sounds like I’m exaggerating, but I have been traveling to about 60 countries, but this experience was definitely one of the best!"

    Saso Uganda Safaris website, edited

  • Review by Hannes

    "We went on a tour with Saso Uganda Safaris and I could not be more satisfied. We went on a gorilla safari, a game drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park, and a chimpanzee safari in Kibale. Our guide, Wilson, arranged everything to perfection. With his experience and knowledge, he made sure we got to see the gorilla family that is most used to humans. Because of that, we got really close to the gorillas, which was a truly amazing experience. Furthermore, the trip was affordable and all accommodations were of good standard. If you would like to go to Uganda on a vacation or a safari, I would recommend you to contact Saso Uganda Safaris. You will not be disappointed!"

    Saso Uganda Safaris website, edited

  • Review by FreyaWalnut from Brighton, United Kingdom

    "We were picked up from the airport and greeted by Ahmed who was our driver and your guide for the first 4"

    "5 days of our trip. We did safari in the amazing Murchison falls national park and explored the city of Kampala with Ahmed. Our guide become part of the family and we all felt comfortable with him. He was knowledgable about the animals throughout the safari and wanted to give us the best experience possible by seeing as many different animals as we could. We had a jam packed adventure whilst on safari, including an amazing boat trip (organised and arranged by Ahmed), and our days were all planned out including where to eat and stop for water etc. Ahmed was also flexible if we wanted to change any plans. After showing us the safari he gave us a tour of the city so that we could see my mums school and the university that my granddad worked in. We felt safe with Ahmed as he advised us on how to keep our possessions safe and what not to do in the city. He said that he was happy to help booking any further accommodation or trips for us even once our tour ended so that he could barter for us and get a more reasonable price. He also offered to give me and my dad a lift to the airport a week or so after the tour had ended which was really helpful. Overall Saso Uganda safaris were very friendly and welcoming and we had an amazing family adventure organised by them!"

    TripAdvisor, edited

  • Review by Sempijja

    "This is the best trip we ever had! I would like to first and foremost thank Saso Uganda Safaris for the great time they gave me and my family. At the beginning of this year, my wife and I decided to take a trip to western Uganda to see the amazing animals in the game parks. Since we both work and live abroad, we decided that when we go back to Uganda for a vacation in June, we should get a safari company that will enable us make our dream come true. A friend of ours who has already went with Saso Uganda Safaris referred us to the company and assured us of having no regrets with them. We got to them and they treated us with a lot of care and comfort. We talked about the places we wanted to visit and how everything would go on. They introduced us to a gentleman by the name of Charles, who was to be our driver and guide. Charles knew his job very well, which helped us in enjoying the trip fully. He first taught us about the safety measures, which showed us that we were in the hands of the right person. We spent three days on the trip and he helped us so much with the animal names since he was so fond of them. He drove us so well and he took us to Queen Elizabeth National Park and Kidepo National Park. We really had fun and look forward to going with Saso for more educational and fun trips. Thank you so much once again."

    Saso Uganda Safaris website, edited

  • Review by Terry Johan

    "The three-day tour to Bwindi Bwindi Impenetrable National Park was quite fantastic. I and my family will always prefer to travel with Saso Uganda Safaris as we had the best tour guide. We were able to see the gorillas."

    Saso Uganda Safaris website, edited

  • Review by Namaalwa Gladys

    "The best travel agency that everyone would wish to travel with. Just love the way your people handled my safari."

    Saso Uganda Safaris Facebook page, edited

  • Review by Cherry Mill

    "Amazing personalized three-day trip! Saso Uganda Safaris gave me the tour of a lifetime! I was in Kampala on my own for work for the first time and had three free days to see the country. Saso Uganda Safaris created a personal tour which included gorilla tracking in the Bwindi National Park, chimpanzee tracking in Kisoro, and a safari wildlife tour across the Queen Elizabeth National Park, where we saw tree-climbing lions, elephants, hippos, baboons, buffalos, antelopes, monkeys, and some amazing birds close up, more than I could have dreamed of. It was also fascinating to drive across the country and see rural Uganda, the beautiful green countryside, including tea plantations and banana groves and African village life close up. Wilson, my tour guide, could spot and identify any animal at a great distance. We did not miss anything en route. He could answer any question about the animals and locations and knew all the rangers and staff in the parks and lodges, which meant he could adapt our itinerary on the fly and fit in as much as possible to make my trip the best he could. I felt totally safe at every moment of the trip. He was a first class driver and navigated the ‘African massage’ roads with amazing skill. I did not know much about Uganda before this trip. In three days, I saw and learnt so much. I have been on three other safaris in Africa and my Uganda trip was by far the best, thanks to Saso Uganda Safaris. It was very good value for money too. Highly recommended."

    Saso Uganda Safaris website , edited

  • Review by a traveler from Kampala, Uganda

    "It's highly recommended. Saso Uganda Safaris provides a superb experience."

    Saso Uganda Safaris Facebook page, edited

  • Review by Burt

    "I decided to visit Uganda after I read about it online and what really grabbed my attention was the term “Pearl of Africa”. I grabbed my bags and came over to Uganda to find out myself. I have to tell you, Wilson and his team at Saso Uganda Safaris did not disappoint at helping me to define that. Thank you, Wilson. God bless!"

    Saso Uganda Safaris website , edited

  • Review by a traveler

    "I was so amazed at how our guide told his stories about the wild nature while driving our 4x4 safari vehicle with so many skills. We enjoyed our safari and everyone still talks about it. Thank you guys! "

    Saso Uganda Safaris website , edited

Kampala, Uganda

Saso Uganda Safaris offers wildlife and gorilla tracking safaris and tours in the famous jungles of Uganda and Rwanda. They are passionate about nature and aim to deliver enriching travel experiences.

Speaks English

from --

4 days / 3 nights

FREE cancellation

The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled up to 12 days before the arrival date.

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