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Privately guided Rwanda safaris

Privately guided Rwanda safaris

Privately guided trips in Rwanda

Lush, mountainous yet not much bigger than Wales, Rwanda is ideally suited for exploration by road. Whether you plan to meet mountain gorillas on their own territory, to kayak on crystal clear waters, or to seek out iconic safari wildlife in Akagera National Park, a privately guided trip offers the opportunity to explore at your own pace, and – perhaps most of all – to develop a real understanding for the culture of this exceptionally beautiful yet once-beleaguered country.

A private driver-guide

You will have your own driver-guide, who will have a significant role in your trip. By travelling together, you will have the chance to build up a relationship with each other: while they will get to know you, your interests and your preferences, you will gain an insight into their lives and their culture.

A private vehicle

You will have exclusive use of a private 4WD vehicle, driven by your guide. This is usually a Land Rover or Land Cruiser, with air conditioning and plenty of space for you and your luggage.

Your trip, your choices

With your own vehicle and guide, the options for your trip are exceptionally flexible: where and when you want to go, and for how long, is largely up to you. Focus on the things that are important to you, whether it be gorillas or chimpanzees, history and culture, hiking or kayaking. Take time to chat to your guide and to the people of Rwanda. Wait as long as you like for the “perfect” photo. This is your trip – and it’s unique to you.

While the destinations that you choose, and the places you stay, will determine your route, with your own guide you have a significant amount of flexibility. Typically you’ll discuss the options with your guide the night before, from where you’d like to stop on a journey, to how you’d like to spend your free afternoons, but there’s room for spontaneity, too. One of the joys of travelling in Rwanda is the chance encounter, and on a private guided trip you have the flexibility to stop and watch – or chat – for almost as long as you like.

Where you’ll stay

The location of the camps on our private guided trips is very important. You can expect to be somewhere with a real feel for the destination, perhaps in the foothills of the Virunga Mountains, home to the mountain gorillas, or overlooking the expansive waters of Lake Kivu. Rwanda is not renowned for its luxury accommodation, but times are changing, and while the simpler options remain, there are now more upmarket lodges, with accommodation and service to match.

Get a feel for the country

Travelling by road, you will get a feel for the landscape as a whole rather than just the national parks and other big attractions. Follow roads that wind up and round the country’s many hills, or collines, passing churches and shrines that are visible reminders of the troubled past. Stop when you wish, perhaps at a village or to visit a coffee plantation; this is very much your trip. And travelling in this way, with your own guide, allows you to gain a sense of the underlying Rwandan culture.

About your private guide

The guides on our private guided trips have been selected for their ability to work with individual guests, adapting and personalising each trip according to individual needs and requests. Highly knowledgeable, articulate and personable, they are your link with the Rwanda of both past and present, including the tragedy of the 1994 genocide. While they are not trained wildlife guides (you will be accompanied by specialist guides on all wildlife-based activities), they are likely to have a broad understanding of the country’s fauna, too.

Trip routes & suggested itineraries

All of our privately guided trips in Rwanda start from the capital, Kigali, and all will give you the flexibility to do what you want, when you want. From Kigali at the centre, the country’s roads fan out like the spokes of a bicycle wheel, and are connected by cross-country roads that make it easy to create a circular trip. So whether you’re visiting Volcanoes National Park, home to the country’s mountain gorillas, seeking out wildlife in Akagera or heading for the enchanting Lake Kivu, driving is the best way to explore.

Possible routes for these trips are limited only by your imagination and available time. To give you some ideas, we have included a few costed examples of privately guided trips around Rwanda here:

Our top picks for holidays to Rwanda

We'll always tailor-make your Safari for you. Here are some of our favourites to inspire you.

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Golden Monkey Safari

12 days • 5 locations

Combine four key areas of Rwanda on this excellent-value trip, for a true wildlife and cultural experience. The perfect itinerary for those who want to see all the highlights of Rwanda.

US$9,710 - US$11,270 per person

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Mona Monkey Safari

9 days • 3 locations

This example of a luxury holiday explores the wildlife of Nyungwe Forest, the scenic shores of Lake Kivu and the mountain gorillas of Volcanoes National Park, all accompanied by a private guide and vehicle.

US$12,160 - US$17,600 per person

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L'Hoest's Monkey Safari

7 days • 3 locations

Meet three iconic primates – gorillas, chimps and golden monkeys – and explore Rwanda's fascinating culture on this excellent value privately guided adventure.

US$5,570 - US$6,320 per person

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Gorillas and Serengeti Safari

11 days • 4 locations

Combine three iconic experiences – mountain gorillas in Rwanda, and the Serengeti plains and awe-inspiring Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania.

US$12,620 - US$14,390 per person

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Gorillas and Maasai Mara Safari

9 days • 3 locations

This trip combines two of Africa's most unforgettable wildlife experiences – Rwanda's mountain gorillas and Kenya's Maasai Mara.

US$10,590 - US$13,490 per person

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Mountain Gorilla Safari

5 days • 2 locations

Staying in great-value lodges, with a private driver-guide and 4WD, this adventure includes two treks to get up close with groups of mountain gorillas.

US$5,830 - US$6,120 per person

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Gorillas and Migration Safari

9 days • 3 locations

This luxury safari combines two iconic wildlife experiences: trekking to see the mountain gorillas in Rwanda, then flying to the northern Serengeti in search of the wildebeest migration and spectacular river crossings.

US$17,070 - US$23,410 per person

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The Highlights of Africa

17 days • 7 locations

An epic adventure taking in some of Africa’s most incredible sights and wildlife experiences, from Cape Town to the Okavango Delta, Victoria Falls, the Maasai Mara and an encounter with mountain gorillas.

US$14,300 - US$18,160 per person

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Silverback Gorilla Safari

4 days • 1 locations

Fly into Rwanda and you can be trekking to meet a family of mountain gorillas the next morning. An itinerary like this could easily be combined with a safari in Kenya or Tanzania.

US$10,170 - US$13,040 per person

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