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FROM US$5,010-US$5,470

L'Hoest's Monkey Safari

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

L'Hoest's Monkey Safari: Summary

L'Hoest's Monkey Safari in a nutshell

You will be met on arrival into Kigali by your private guide for the week ahead. Hop into your 4X4 vehicle and be driven southwest out of the capital, with a fascinating stop at the Ethnographic Museum of Rwanda before reaching Nyungwe Forest National Park. Based at a simple lodge with views across the canopy, head into this lush biodiversity hotspot on hikes in search of its 13 primate species – over 10% of Africa’s total – with troops of roving chimpanzees one of the highlights.

The placid waters of Kivu, one of Africa’s Great Lakes, lay north after a winding road through volcanic hills. Take a boat trip out to nearby Napoleon Island, which is host to a colony of fruit bats, or enjoy a kayaking trip out onto the lake to watch the fisherman leaving for their night’s work as the sun sets.

Volcanoes National Park and its forest draped peaks are the setting for your final three nights. On your first morning, track down endemic golden monkeys in the lower mountain slopes, with the afternoon at leisure perhaps visiting nearby lakes, caves or Dian Fossey’s grave. Having your own driver gives you complete flexibility.

On your second morning, wake up early and head to the nearby park HQ where you’ll be assigned to a group, meet your ranger guide and be briefed. Then trek into the forest to meet a family of mountain gorillas. Habituated and unphased by your presence, watch young ones tumble in the undergrowth, mothers graze on bamboo and the dominant silverback proudly stride, all with a recognisably anthropomorphic air. Truly one of the most unforgettable wildlife experiences on earth.

You’ll be driven back to Kigali on your last day. Before your flight, visit the Genocide Memorial to learn about Rwanda’s recent history and how it has emerged from its past.

At a glance

Starts: Kigali International Airport
2 nights Nyungwe Top View Hill - Nyungwe Forest National Park, Rwanda Full Board
2 nights Cormoran Lodge - Lake Kivu, Rwanda Full Board
3 nights Mountain Gorilla View - Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda Full Board
Ends: Kigali International Airport

Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel

Days 1-3

Opened in 2011, Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel is a short drive off the main road, on top of a steep hill. From its hilltop vantage point, Top View has beautiful views across the neighbouring forest and tea plantations, and its proximity to the headquarters of Nyungwe Forest National Park makes it is a good base for trekking to see the chimpanzees and exploring the forest.

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Cormoran Lodge

Days 3-5

Set on a steep hill, leading down to the shore of Rwanda’s Lake Kivu, the rustic yet stylish Cormoran Lodge in Kibuye has a small number of wooden cabins, each affording beautiful views over the lake.

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Mountain Gorilla View Lodge

Days 5-8

Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, previously called Gorilla Mountain View Lodge, is located on the slopes of Rwanda’s Mount Sabyinyo. A good mid-range hotel set in spacious grounds, it has beautiful views of the surrounding volcanoes and is only a 15-minute drive from the headquarters of Volcanoes National Park, which is the starting point for gorilla trekking.

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Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel

Nyungwe Top View Hill

Nyungwe Forest National Park, Rwanda

Cormoran Lodge

Cormoran Lodge

Lake Kivu, Rwanda

Mountain Gorilla View Lodge

Mountain Gorilla View

Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

About image

Highlights

Our thoughts on five of the top experiences of this L'Hoest's Monkey Safari.

  • Meeting mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park
  • Tracking a troop of chimpanzees in Nyungwe Forest
  • Kayaking on Lake Kivu at sunset
  • See golden and black and white colobus monkeys
  • Get an insight into Rwanda’s culture and history

Activities

Some activities which can be included in the L'Hoest's Monkey Safari: talk to us about those which interest you.

  • Birdwatching

  • Boat trip

  • Canoeing

  • Cultural excursion

  • Guided walking safari

  • Helicopter

  • Kayaking

  • Primate trekking

  • Watersports

About image

Key species to see on the L'Hoest's Monkey Safari

Based on our travellers' observations, we’ve estimated the likelihood of seeing these species during the L'Hoest's Monkey Safari. Click on the animals and our wildlife surveys page for more info.


Chimpanzee

100% chance

Mountain Gorilla

91% chance

Buffalo

11% chance

Elephant

0% chance

Pangolin

0% chance

Spotted Hyena

0% chance

Side-trips whilst on this safari

We may be able to build in some of these optional excursions from the L'Hoest's Monkey Safari. Talk to us: they’re usually best arranged when you book.


Canopy Walk in Nyungwe Forest

Canopy Walk in Nyungwe Forest

Two - three hours

The Canopy Walk in Nyungwe Forest opened in 2010 and was one of the first bridges of this kind to cross a forest canopy in the African continent. You'll be amazed by this easy walk into one of Rwanda's beautiful National Parks. Whether you are looking for some relaxation or adventure, this place is a perfect way to discover the beauty of the forest.

More about Canopy Walk
86% (7 reviews)
Canoeing in Rwanda

Canoeing in Rwanda

Half day - approx. 3 hours on the water

A half-day adventure in lush countryside, on a gentle river near to Musanze, Rwanda

More about Canoeing
97% (7 reviews)
Mount Bisoke Trek

Mount Bisoke Trek

Full day

For something a little different, set out on a one-day hike to the summit of Mt Bisoke in the Volcanoes National Park, home to Rwanda’s famous mountain gorillas. Discover the beautiful scenery of the Virunga Mountains, spot birds and wildlife, and enjoy spectacular views from the crater lake.

More about Mount Bisoke Trek
93% (3 reviews)
Mount Karisimbi Trek - 2 day trek

Mount Karisimbi Trek - 2 day trek

Two days - overnight on Mt Karisimbi

Set out on a two-day hike to the summit of Mount Karisimbi, which at over 4,507m is one of the highest in Africa. This is a challenge for the adventurous! With a local guide, you’ll traverse bamboo forests and rugged terrain, then camp on the slopes of this active volcano before enjoying sunrise from the summit.

More about Mount Karisimbi Trek
Trek to Dian Fossey’s Grave

Trek to Dian Fossey’s Grave

Half day, usually five hours

Dian Fossey is best known for her research and conservation work with the mountain gorillas in Rwanda. She dedicated her life to researching and protecting these ‘gentle giants’ from harm, however she was tragically found murdered at her research camp in 1985. Today visitors can join a local guide to trek through the tropical forest to visit her grave, and learn about the impact of her work.

More about Dian Fossey Trek
Bird Walk in Nyungwe Forest

Bird Walk in Nyungwe Forest

Two - four hours

Enjoy a morning or afternoon hiking through Nyungwe Forest in search of some of the 310 bird species that have been recorded in this area, including the great blue turaco and the endemic Albertine owlet and red-collared babbler.

More about Bird Walk
100% (1 reviews)

Let us help you customise your trip

Like all of our holidays on this site, this is just an idea. All of our trips are tailor-made, so we'll always adapt them to suit you.


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After you set off, you’ll be cared for by our partners in Africa, most of whom have worked with Expert Africa for decades. And if you ever need us urgently, we’re available 24/7.

When you return

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