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.
The maximum participants in the group is 8.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.