This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more

Skip to main content

Talk to an expert 1-800-242-2434 Lines open now

User menu
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: Day-by-day

Our aim is to design a trip specifically to suit you; this is simply an idea for a safari with your own personal guide and 4WD. Do talk to us so we can create your perfect trip.


Day 1

Starts: Kigali International Airport

Day 1

Kigali to Nyungwe Forest by private 4WD

Your private guide will meet you at the airport for the journey west to Nyungwe, a perfect introduction to this "country of a thousand hills". The drive takes you through farmland and rice fields, with lunch en route, typically reaching Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel, with its stunning forest views, after around six hours. But this is very much your trip, so if you'd like to stop for photos, to visit a village, or to take in the King's Palace, do chat to your guide about the options.

King’s Palace & Museum Visit
Day 1

King’s Palace & Museum Visit

If your trip in Rwanda incorporates travelling south from Kigali, a visit to the King’s Palace and Museum gives an interesting insight into Rwanda’s cultural history and monarchy. It's also ideally placed to break up the long journey to Nyungwe Forest. Read all about King’s Palace

Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel
Days 1-3

Nyungwe Top View Hill

2 nights
Full BoardNyungwe Forest National Park, Rwanda

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.

Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel

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.

"Great place for exploring Nyungwe"

Mr & Mrs L.fromLondon

Arrived 4 Nov 2019, 2 nights

At first glance, Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel looks quite smart, but on closer inspection it is a little scruffy. The furniture may be modern but it's a mish-mash of design, and is quite cheaply made. And we were pretty disappointed with the food. Yet regardless of the hotel's imperfections we thought the location was great and it is certainly comfortable enough, offering relatively good value. Indeed, the slight scruffiness and the odd mix of styles is rather endearing. In addition, the staff try really hard and we'd expect the friendly atmosphere and welcoming service to add enormously to the overall experience. See our full report on Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel

77%
15 reviews of Nyungwe Top View Hill by travellers since August 2007

Activities

Birdwatching

Cultural excursion

Guided walking safari

Primate trekking

Chimpanzee Trekking in Nyungwe Forest
Day 2

Chimpanzee Trekking in Nyungwe Forest

Trekking to see the chimpanzees in Nyungwe Forest National Park can be exhilarating. While sighting them in dense forest can be challenging, to watch them cavorting in the tree tops, their all-too-human characteristics to the fore, makes this an exceptionally rewarding half-day excursion. Read all about Chimpanzee Trekking

Day 3

Nyungwe to Lake Kivu by 4WD

As you travel north today, the forests of Nyungwe give way to stunning views over Lake Kivu and its islands, stretching as far as the Democratic Republic of Congo. It's not a long drive – around three hours – but with the flexibility to choose where and when you stop, you can spend as long as you like taking photographs or just revelling in the scenery before arriving at Cormoran Lodge, overlooking the lake.

Colobus Trekking in Nyungwe
Day 3

Colobus Trekking in Nyungwe

Visiting the black-and-white colobus monkeys of Nyungwe Forest is a highly enjoyable excursion. A gentler walk than trekking in search of chimpanzees, it takes you through lush green tea plantations surrounding an isolated patch of rainforest, where these striking primates can be spotted jumping around the trees. Read all about Colobus Monkey Trekking

Cormoran Lodge
Days 3-5

Cormoran Lodge

2 nights
Full BoardLake Kivu, Rwanda

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.

Cormoran Lodge

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.

"Location is excellent and idyllic."

Mr F & familyfromBelgium

Arrived 3 Feb 2019, 1 night

Overall, we love the location of Cormoran Lodge, and the view over the lake is stunning. It's quirky style, and rustic interiors offer a cosy atmosphere, reminiscent of an alpine ski lodge! The staff are friendly and the food, although a little hit and miss, is on the whole fairly good. It’s a great place for a few days’ rest and relaxation by the water, and would be ideal for those looking for something that is small in size, personal and relatively economical in this area. See our full report on Cormoran Lodge

87%
26 reviews of Cormoran Lodge by travellers since August 2007

Activities

Birdwatching

Boat trip

Kayaking

Watersports

Day 5

Lake Kivu to Volcanoes NP by private 4WD

This morning you'll drive north, leaving the lake behind, the increasingly hilly terrain culminating after around four hours in the foothills of Volcanoes National Park, and Mountain Gorilla View Lodge. On the way, you'll pass a number of tea or coffee plantations interspersed by the occasional village, so if you'd like to stop to explore, or perhaps look round the Museum of the Environment near Kibuye, have a chat with your guide; the choice is yours.

Mountain Gorilla View Lodge
Days 5-8

Mountain Gorilla View

3 nights
Full BoardVolcanoes National Park, Rwanda

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.

Mountain Gorilla View Lodge

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.

"Great location with superb views"

Dr PfromNetherlands

Arrived 9 Feb 2020, 2 nights

We really like Mountain Gorilla View Lodge. It is a very comfortable hotel with spacious cottages, friendly staff and a great location. Don’t come here expecting luxury, but if you are looking for a relaxed lodge that shouldn’t break the bank, it could be a good choice. See our full report on Mountain Gorilla View Lodge

88%
101 reviews of Mountain Gorilla View by travellers since August 2007

Activities

Birdwatching

Canoeing

Cultural excursion

Helicopter

Primate trekking

Golden Monkey Trekking
Day 6

Golden Monkey Trekking

Spend a morning trekking to find the golden monkeys in the Volcanoes National Park. These endangered monkeys are endemic to the Albertine Rift area and, as the name would suggest, are characterised by their golden-orange fur. You’ll be able to enjoy an hour watching them jump through the bamboo forests and hunker to chew thistles, curiously watching you, as you watch them. Read all about Golden Monkey Trekking

Gorilla Trekking Safari
Day 7

Gorilla Trekking Safari

To look into the eyes of a large silverback gorilla is to be met with a thoughtful, intelligent gaze: any apprehension is likely to be replaced by wonder, even awe.
Gorilla trekking in Rwanda’s Virunga Mountains offers a magical encounter that transcends any other "wildlife" experience we know. Read all about Gorilla Trekking

Day 8

Volcanoes National Park to Kigali by road

On leaving Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, the drive back to Kigali Airport takes you through the fertile, rolling hills of western Rwanda. It's a fascinating journey of around four hours, depending on any stops you make en route (do ask your guide about the options) before arriving in time for you to make your onward connections.



Day 8

Ends: Kigali International Airport

Inspire me

Need inspiration?

Let our trip chooser narrow down the options for you

Inspire me

Experiences you can add to this trip.

Optional extra day-trips and excursions possible whilst staying at lodges on this trip. These are usually best arranged in advance so talk to us.


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
95% (4 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 dormant volcano before enjoying sunrise from the summit.

More about Mount Karisimbi Trek
100% (1 reviews)
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)

Login to Expert Africa

Sign in with password

Sign in with email link


New to Expert Africa? Create an account

Forgotten your details?

It's free & quick to set up

  • Order a brochure
  • Save your wish-list
  • Send us an enquiry
  • Pay online for your trip
  • Subscribe to our newsletter
  • Give us feedback on your trip
  • Full site benefits of the site

Need some help? Talk to our team

Africa